Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool | Washington, DC, US

The National Park Service chose WSP to redesign and manage the renovation of the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool's deteriorating circulation system.

Restoration of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool

Built in the 1920s, the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool on the National Mall has been the backdrop for many historic U.S. events. The rectangular pool is 2,028 feet long and 167 feet wide. Its glassy expanse can reflect the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument or the rows of shade trees that line both sides.

The reflecting pool was filled with water that came from the city of Washington’s drinking water supply. Due to a deteriorating circulation system, the water often became stagnant and evaporated too easily. Additionally, the dirt paths along either side of the pool were being eroded by millions of annual visitors.

WSP was chosen by the National Park Service to design and manage renovation of the site. The new design taps the Tidal Basin as the pool’s primary water source, which reduces municipal water consumption by about 17 million gallons a year. Water lost to evaporation is now replenished from the fountain discharge of the adjacent World War II Memorial. The reflecting pool water is now treated and filtered, making it more reflective than ever. Other upgrades include:

  • New walkways, resurfaced with granite, and new lighting.
  • New paths with security walls, which provide wheelchair access to the Lincoln Memorial.