Lincoln Memorial to stay open during roof, marble repairs

This photo provided by the National Park Service shows damaged roof tiles that will be replaced as part of a roof repair project, that began on Monday. Marble that was damaged by the 2011 earthquake will also be repaired. The work should last about eight months. (Courtesy National Park Service)
This photo provided by the National Park Service shows damaged roof tiles that will be replaced as part of a roof repair project, that began on Monday. Marble that was damaged by the 2011 earthquake will also be repaired. The work should last about eight months. (Courtesy National Park Service) (Courtesy National Park Service)
This diagram provided by the National Park Service shows the areas that will be repaired as part of a $2.85 million project that began on Monday. Last replaced 20 years ago, the flat upper and lower roofs of the memorial are failing, allowing water to stain the interior walls of the structure. A five-layer roof system will be installed but will not alter the look of the structure: hollow clay terracotta tile, concrete decking, a hot rubberized asphalt membrane, rigid insulation and slate pavers. Marble at the four corners of the penthouse level will also be repaired. And broken glass in the skylights above the chamber will be replaced. (Courtesy National Park Service)
This diagram provided by the National Park Service shows the areas that will be repaired as part of a $2.85 million project that began on Monday. Last replaced 20 years ago, the flat upper and lower roofs of the memorial are failing, allowing water to stain the interior walls of the structure. A five-layer roof system will be installed but will not alter the look of the structure: hollow clay terra-cotta tile, concrete decking, a hot rubberized asphalt membrane, rigid insulation and slate pavers. Marble at the four corners of the penthouse level will also be repaired. And broken glass in the skylights above the chamber will be replaced. Visitors will be able to access the chamber to see the statue of Abraham Lincoln. However the the walk around the outside of the columns and the grass terrace to the north, south and west of the memorial will be closed to the public. (Courtesy National Park Service) (Courtesy National Park Service)
There've been plenty of cold temperatures this winter, but not a lot of snow. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
People walk one the frozen Reflecting Pool at the National Mall, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, in Washington. The bitter cold that followed a massive East Coast snowstorm should begin to lessen as temperatures inch up and climb past freezing next week. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (AP/Jose Luis Magana)
(1/3)
This photo provided by the National Park Service shows damaged roof tiles that will be replaced as part of a roof repair project, that began on Monday. Marble that was damaged by the 2011 earthquake will also be repaired. The work should last about eight months. (Courtesy National Park Service)
This diagram provided by the National Park Service shows the areas that will be repaired as part of a $2.85 million project that began on Monday. Last replaced 20 years ago, the flat upper and lower roofs of the memorial are failing, allowing water to stain the interior walls of the structure. A five-layer roof system will be installed but will not alter the look of the structure: hollow clay terracotta tile, concrete decking, a hot rubberized asphalt membrane, rigid insulation and slate pavers. Marble at the four corners of the penthouse level will also be repaired. And broken glass in the skylights above the chamber will be replaced. (Courtesy National Park Service)
There've been plenty of cold temperatures this winter, but not a lot of snow. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON — Repairs to one of the most prominent memorials along the National Mall began this week.

The $2.85 million project will replace the roof over the Lincoln Memorial and also repair cracks in portions of the white marble, which was damaged by the 2011 earthquake, according to the National Park Service.

This is the first time any earthquake-related damaged has been addressed at the structure. The Park Service opted to take advantage of the scaffolding needed for the roof repairs to address the marble at the same time, said Mike Litterst, spokesman for the Park Service.

The marble is in generally good condition and the earthquake did not cause any structural damage, Litterst said.

Last replaced 20 years ago, the flat upper and lower roofs of the memorial are failing, allowing water to stain the interior walls of the structure.

A five-layer roof system will be installed but will not alter the look of the structure, Litterst said.

Additionally, crews will also replace broken skylights above the statue and replace a decorative metal and marble ceiling.

The east side of the memorial, including the chamber with the statue of the 16th president, will remain open to the public during the repairs. The exhibit area, restrooms and elevator will also remain open to the public.

However the north, west and south sides of the memorial will be closed to the public. Visitors will see scaffolding around the structure and white fabric covering a portion of the memorial, Litterst said.

Staging began on Monday but the construction will begin in earnest in a week or two and will last about eight months, Litterst said.

The roof and marble repairs are part of a larger overhaul planned for the memorial. The additional work will eventually allow the public to view the cathedral-like space beneath the memorial.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2019 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up