“Facilities that were last renovated 20 or 30 years ago are simply not sufficient to deal with the more than 8 million people a year who come to the Lincoln Memorial,” said Mike Litterst, spokesman for the National Mall and Memorial Parks.
“Leave things the way they are and continue to have substandard exhibits and facilities,” Litterst said.
Option B: “Bells and whistles”
(Preferred by the Park Service)
The “bells and whistles” option would create a vastly bigger exhibit and retail space under the statue chamber. It would add nearly 15,000 square feet of functional space for exhibits, education and research areas, Litterst said. It would also include a second set of bathrooms, add a second elevator and open expansive views into the cathedral-like undercroft level currently not visible to the public.
Option C: Modest improvements
Restrooms would be renovated, reconfigured and expanded slightly. The 200-square-foot bookstore would remain on the memorial’s chamber level. A picture window would open partial views into the undercroft area.
The comment period on proposed changes is open through March 7.
“We not only have to take a look at ‘what are the good ideas,’ but we have to figure out what the impacts of some of these changes would be on the historic fabric of the Lincoln Memorial,” Litterst said. “The document [detailing options], we think, is a fairly exhaustive list of what some of those potential impacts could be, but there may be some things that folks notice or think about that we didn’t.”
A public meeting to discuss the alternatives will be held at 10 a.m. Feb. 21 at the National Building Museum (401 F St. NW). The gathering will be in Suite 308, in the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation.
Renovations are intended to be complete by 2020. Memorial centennial celebrations will be held in 2022.
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