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September 5, 2012

Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool in Washington opens after renovation

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Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool in Washington

The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, District of Columbia, US, has reopened after a two-year, $34m reconstruction.

Originally opened in 1922, the new pool, about 160ft wide and 2,100ft long, was constructed with new walking paths along each side to replace dirt paths used by the visitors in the area.

Designed by the Sasaki Associates, the pool has been reconstructed with a circulation and filtration system to draw river water from the adjacent Tidal Basin to save 20 million gallons of drinking water per year.

Sasaki’s work on the project included upgrading accessibility, security and increasing resilience of the site, which attracts 4.5 million visitors per year.

Sasaki principal in charge of the project Alan Ward said, "On most projects we try to create striking new designs, however at the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool, our aim was to design the new walks, plazas, walls, lighting, and pool to appear as if it was always there, as an integral part of the original design."

Renovation at the pool has deepened it 3ft, which will help in saving water, and its bottom is coated a grey colour to make the water darker and more reflective of the 555ft tall Washington Monument.

Originally the pool was filled with potable water and with deterioration of structural conditions it required refilling two to three times each year, using nearly six million gallons of water every time.

The architect has designed a way to supply water into the pool in a sustainable manner without requiring potable water.

Daily water replenishment is supplied from the sumps in the pump room of the World War II Memorial.

The project started in 2009 and was approved by the Commission of Fine Arts, the National Capital Planning Commission, and others in 2010.

Image: The new pool employs a new water supply system to collect water from Tidal Basin. Photo: Sasaki Associates.

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