Scaffolding Going Up Around Lincoln, Jefferson Memorials
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Lincoln and Jefferson memorials will be cloaked in scaffolding for more than three years while the National Park Service inspects and repairs two of the capital’s most popular monuments.
James Kren of the Park Service said Saturday that safety fences will go up around the memorials Monday, and the first rolling tower scaffolding will be moved into the Lincoln Memorial next week.
Kren is overseeing the first phase of the $22 million project to survey and document conditions of the buildings and determine what structural problems may exist. He said the second phase would focus on testing, the third phase on repairs.
Photogrammetry, the science of measuring using photographs, will be used to determine existing conditions of the stones and provide an architectural record for the future.
The Park Service said in a statement that the scaffolding will be in place for three to five years.
Visitors will still have access to the 19-foot-tall statues of Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson, but won’t be able to walk around the colonnades. The only possible monument closings may come in early morning hours when equipment is being moved, Kern said.
He said some of the stones at the Lincoln Memorial aren’t high quality and have deteriorated, while pieces of the heads of the columns at the Jefferson Memorial broke off last year.
The Lincoln Memorial, opened in 1922, sits at the west end of the Reflecting Pool, near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The Jefferson Memorial, completed in 1943, is on the banks of the cherry tree-ringed Tidal Basin.