The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) met Thursday to review several project that fall under its purview, ultimately "commenting favorably" on all. One of the bigger items on the agenda was improvements to the District's World War I Memorial on the National Mall.
The National Park Service (NPS) plans to restore the District of Columbia World War I Memorial, located on the Mall just above Independence Avenue, SW. It is the only District monument on the National Mall and honors residents of the District who fought in the war. Originally dedicated by President Herbert Hoover on November 11, 1931, the 47-foot tall memorial was used as a band stand, able to hold an 80-person band with space enough on the surrounding lawn to seat 300 people. It's last recorded use for public music was in 1960, since that time, the memorial has fallen victim to wear, tear, and obscurity.
The NPS will clean and repair the memorial by adding bluestone and Elm trees, replacing non-historic paving with granite, and removing "non-historic trees." When completed, the memorial could once again be used as a bandstand. Restoration is expected to be complete by September 2012 and will cost an estimated $5.2 million, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. But that won't remedy the security fences and lack of parking that make visiting the memorial difficult, and comparatively rare.