The Trust for the National Mall announced Tuesday that American Express has donated $1 million to restore the old stone lockkeeper’s house, a vestige of a bygone Washington and the oldest existing structure on the Mall.
The 178-year-old building, at 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, once served a canal lock that connected the Washington branch of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal and Washington City Canal, which ran toward the U.S. Capitol.
The house, near the Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial, has been boarded up for more than 40 years, the trust said. As part of the restoration, the building will be moved about 32 feet back from the intersection.
Built as a home and workplace, the house was operated between 1835 and 1873 by a lockkeeper who collected tolls and ran the canal lock for barges loaded with freight. The building has been closed since the 1970s.