WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — A new, immersive 15,000-square-foot museum is coming to Washington D.C, under the Lincoln Memorial.
“That allows visitors to look into the undercroft, the unfinished space that holds up the Lincoln Memorial as people know it,” National Mall and Memorial Parks Superintendent Jeff Reinbold said.
The nearly $69 million project will allow visitors to learn about the site’s construction history and significant historical events.
“Give them a chance to learn a little bit more about the creation of the memorial and most importantly, the meanings it’s taken on over time,” Reinbold said.
The goal is to also preserve the original architecture under the memorial. The project received funding from multiple donors, including the National Park Foundation.
“We wanted to and our donors wanted to provide the visitors of this great monument with an excellent experience and that wasn’t something the government funding was going to achieve on its own,” National Park Federation President Will Shafroth said.
The renovation will be the largest performed on the monument since it was completed in 1922.
“This is a project that’s been talked about for decades, and we finally have found a way to move it forward,” Reinbold said.
For visitors, maintaining the original architecture is important.
“It’s a very tough balance to both preserve and to refurbish to, you know, maintain the old with the new, but that sounds like a good way to go about it,” visitor Eric Fleury said.
The memorial will remain open during the construction, which will start in March and is expected to finish by 2026 for the 250th anniversary of American Independence.