The Lincoln Memorial Is Getting a Much-Needed Overhaul

Wikipedia//CC BY-SA 2.0
Wikipedia//CC BY-SA 2.0 / Wikipedia//CC BY-SA 2.0

Good news for the seven million tourists who flood Washington, D.C. each year hoping to see the Lincoln Memorial: the columned building that houses the 120-ton statue of our nation’s 16th president is finally getting a facelift.

According to The Washington Post, the nearly 100-year-old monument will undergo a renovation over the next four years—the most extensive since its 1922 dedication. David Rubenstein, a philanthropist and executive officer of Washington, D.C.-based global private equity investment company The Carlyle Group, donated $18.5 million to the National Park Service for the project. "Lincoln deserves to have his memorial in tip-top shape," the history buff and Lincoln admirer told the Associated Press.

The renovation will be vast: The monument’s exhibit space, bookstore, and restrooms will all be enlarged; the leaking slate roof will be patched up; workers will repair brickwork damaged during the 2011 earthquake; and the entire memorial will get a good power wash. Two 60-foot-long murals inside its edifice will be also restored, and new exhibits will showcase the monument’s foundations, including old graffiti drawn on some pilings by the site’s original builders, The New York Times reports.

Visitors who already have their tickets to D.C. booked can rest assured: The Lincoln Memorial won’t shut down entirely during its revamp, although some sections might be closed due to construction. Considering that about 40 percent of the monument is underground (it extends 66 feet into the earth at its deepest point) there’s much more to the famous tourist attraction than meets the eye—and soon you’ll be able to see a refreshed version of it for yourself.

[h/t The Washington Post]