RACHEL SLATTERY / THE EAGLE
The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is being refilled for the first time since renovations began in 2010.
The water in the pool was declared off-limits to the public in 2010 after years of collecting dirt and trash. The bottom was cracked and leaked thousands of gallons of city water a week, only cleaned by removing truckloads of debris up to three times a year.
The pool’s new circulation systems draws water from the Tidal Basin rather than from the city’s drinking water.
Approximately $30 million have been put into the project in an effort to make a more aesthetically-pleasing and environmentally friendly reflecting pool. Bill Line, who works in Communications at the National Park Service, said the city will remove fences surrounding the pool in the next week.
Sidewalks have been installed next to the pool on top of the dirt paths, complete with new lights and benches. The bottom of the pool has also been tinted to give a brighter reflection, according to the National Park Service’s website.
“We’ve been refilling the pool all week,” said Line. “Construction started this past Friday, and we’re doing a whole reconstruction of the pool.”
Henry Bacon, an American architect, designed the 167-by-2,029-foot pool in 1922 once he finished the Lincoln Memorial. For over 80 years, it has been the site of protests, peace demonstrations, presidential inauguration celebrations and Fourth of July fireworks displays, according to The Washington Post.
School of Communication professor Doug Hecox said he was glad to see the pool go under construction.
“The Lincoln Reflecting Pool needed major surgery for years and it’s nice to have it done,” he said. “Having substandard filtration, the pool’s water usually smelled pretty ripe every August and probably made President Lincoln glad he was sitting upwind of it.”