Sunday, October 04, 2009

WWI Memorial Refurbishment Approved


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.

5 comments:

relaxasaurus on Oct 5, 2009, 10:36:00 AM said...

This is one of those hidden & obscure memorials you find by accident while biking or jogging through DC. Makes it all the more cooler when you find it though. :)

Anonymous said...

My wife and I got married IN this Memorial. It was a wonderful service "in the round". I highly recommend visiting this great memorial. Also, I'm not sure if it is really called the WWI Memorial - when my wife was securing the permits to have our wedding there, it was referred to as the "DC War Memorial". It was built prior to WWII, and therefore did not have a WWI attached to the name, because WWI wasn't called as such until WWII happened.

I am very pleased that this important Memorial to our City's Soldiers is finally getting som TLC.

Anonymous said...

It's great this memorial is being restored; it's a tribute to a bygone time for DC. A bit of trivia... this memorial was prominently featured in Legally Blonde II: Red, White, and Blonde; Elle Woods walked her dog near the memorial a few times.

Anonymous said...

Um...WWI ended in 1918...on Nov 11th. I can only assume by 13 years later they were referring to the war as a world war, but yes, it is the DC WWI War Memorial...

The World War I Memorial commemorates the 26,000 citizens of Washington, D.C. who served in World War I. The domed peristyle Doric temple is located on the National Mall in West Potomac Park. Inscribed in the base are 499 names of Washingtonians who lost their life in the war. Authorized by Congress in 1924, the memorial was appropriately dedicated in 1931 on Armistice Day-the official end of WWI. It serves as the first war memorial to be built in West Potomac Park and stands as the only local memorial on the National Mall.

Anonymous said...

5.2million.... That's a lot of money to take out some paving and trees and re-grout.

Nice that the local War Memorial is being refurbished - just like those in all the other small towns in the country. (And no, it would not have been called the 'World War I' memorial at its dedication, or any time at all until after 1941 or so. Just the World War memorial.

 

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