Lockkeeper's House

Phase I of the Rehabilitation of Constitution Gardens


We're Restoring the Lockkeeper's House

The Lockkeeper's House — the oldest structure on the National Mall — has been relocated as part of a major restoration project that will transform the site with a new visitor-friendly entrance, surrounding outdoor plaza and interior digital education displays.

Untouched for more than 40 years, the 184-year old structure will soon welcome visitors from around the world to the National Mall.

The Lockkeeper's House is a gateway between the city to the north and landscapes of the National Mall to the south, east and west, making it the ideal venue to showcase the story of commerce, development and sustainability on the National Mall.

Field Report No. 4

On Thursday, October 12, 2017, the Trust for the National Mall relocated the Lockkeeper's House to its new location approximately 50 feet back from the busy street corner of Constitution Avenue and 17th Street NW.

Using a hydraulic lift, the Lockkeeper’s House was elevated approximately two feet above the current foundation. The house is supported by 50-foot beams across the length of the house, 25-foot beams across the width of the house and multiple “needle beams.” Stacked wooden cribbing pylons supported these beams at the raised elevation.

A road was constructed with layers of rocks and geogrid fabric to create a level surface for the house to move over. Steel plates were placed over both portions of that road and the new foundation to help distribute the load of the house as it moves into place at its new location.


(Kevin Wolf/Trust for the National Mall via AP Images)

Four dollies were positioned near each corner of the house and attached to the support beams. Operated by a remote control, the dolly system moved simultaneously to roll the house along the road. The house rolled approximately 36 feet to the south and 35 feet to the west.


(Kevin Wolf/Trust for the National Mall via AP Images)

Once the house was aligned with the new foundation, it was lowered to approximately 18 inches above the foundation.


(Kevin Wolf/Trust for the National Mall via AP Images)

Click below for previous field reports from this project:

Field Report No. 1

Field Report No. 2

Field Report No. 3

What's Next

Check back in for more information from the next phase of the project where we will share how the bottom of the house is carefully rebuilt to reinsert stones that were removed for the move.

Support This Project

Limited public funds are not sufficient to relocate and restore this humble structure on the National Mall.

An additional $3 million in private funding is needed to complete this project and interior digital exhibit, providing guests the opportunity to interact with visitor-activated projections of animated historic figures, helping tell the story of the Lockkeeper's House and the National Mall.

By preserving the Lockkeeper's House, we are choosing to save a critical part of our shared history.

Click here to lend your support today.

This Project Was Partially Funded By

S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

The Honorable C. Boyden Gray

Clark Charitable Foundation

American Express Company

Dr. Scholl Foundation