National Park Service

Reflecting Pool Rehabilitation Receives Recognition from Engineering News Record

Photo of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, National Mall and Memorial Parks.

NPS Photo

Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, National Mall and Memorial Parks.

November 2013

The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool Rehabilitation was honored by Engineering News Record (ENR) Mid-Atlantic with a 2013 Best Project award in the renovation/restoration category. The project will advance to the national competition to be considered for a “Best of the Best” award.

The project will be honored at an awards breakfast on December 17th. The $34 million rehabilitation project was managed and contracted by the Denver Service Center. The original pool, built in the 1920s, had sunk significantly throughout the years, causing cracks and leaks. It required about 30 million gallons of municipal water to maintain it annually and needed to be drained, cleaned, and refilled twice a year.

The new pool has a new water circulating system, with its water pumped from the Tidal Basin, filtered, and treated prior to entering the reconstructed pool. This new system continuously circulates and treats the water using ozonation, a natural water treatment process requiring no chemicals. The new pool is shallower than the original and will use one third less water to operate. The pool maintains its cultural integrity with 580 granite stones from the original pool used in their same locations along its edges and remains within the structure’s original footprint.

Colored concrete was used to improve the reflectivity of the water. The grounds of the Reflecting Pool were also upgraded, with new concrete sidewalks in place of the gravel paths adjacent to the pool to improve the visitor experience and reduce soil erosion. The lighting along the Elm Walks has been replaced with energy efficient, dark sky compliant lighting.

The pool reopened to the public in September 2012.