Construction at the Lincoln Memorial

Construction at the Lincoln Memorial until July, 2026 – © David H. Enzel, 2024

This construction project at the Lincoln Memorial will create 15,000 square feet of exhibit space that tells a more complete story of the Lincoln Memorial and provides a look at the structure’s foundations in a cavernous area known as the undercroft. New museum exhibits and multimedia presentations will highlight the construction history of the memorial and discuss how the Lincoln Memorial has become the nation’s foremost backdrop for civil rights demonstrations. The project also includes new restrooms, a larger bookstore, and replacement of the existing elevator as well as the addition of a second elevator.

The undercroft of the Lincoln Memorial is a tall grid of concrete columns surrounded by large expanses of open space. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls will provide a view of the undercroft, and an immersive theater presentation will project images of historic events onto the foundations. Visitors will also learn about the significance of the site as an international icon dedicated to the achievements of Abraham Lincoln and individuals such as Marian Anderson (1897-1993) and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), who have shaped the history of the memorial.

The project will cost $69 million ($26 million from the National Park Service and $43 million in private donations to the National Park Foundation). It is scheduled for completion in July, 2026.

The Lincoln Memorial remains open during onging construction. – © David H. Enzel, 2024

The Lincoln Memorial, including the the 120-ton statue of Abraham Lincoln shown above, remains open during the project. The basement area exhibits, restrooms and elevator will close during construction, however temporary restrooms, bookstore and a handicapped accessible lift will be available for the duration of the work.

Source: National Park Service; See also, The Washington Post.

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