The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool was designed by Henry Bacon, constructed in 1922 and 1923, following the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial. It is approximately 2,029 feet (618 m) long (over a third of a mile) and 167 feet (51 m) wide. It has a depth of approximately 18 inches (46 cm) on the sides and 30 inches (76 cm) in the center. It holds approximately 6,750,000 U.S. gallons (25,500,000 L) of water.
Using funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the National Park Service reconstructed the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. The pool's water supply system was updated to eliminate stagnant water by circulating water from the Tidal Basin; the pool was formerly filled using potable water from the city. Paved walking paths were added to the north and south sides of the pool to replace worn grass and to prevent further erosion. Construction on the 18-month, $30.7 million project began in November 2010. In May 2011, workers began sinking the first of 2,113 wood pilings into a 40-foot deep layer of soft, marshy river clay and some dredged material atop bedrock to support a new pool. The pool reopened on August 31, 2012. The project was managed by the Louis Berger Group.
EventsLocated at the base of the Lincoln Memorial's steps, the Reflecting Pool area has been the site of many historic events, including:
- In 1939, singer Marian Anderson was denied permission to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington, because she was African American. An open air concert was held on Easter Sunday, with a crowd of over 75,000 people.
- On August 28, 1963, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom used the area for its Civil Rights rally. It was there that Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered to a crowd of 250,000 people.
- In 2009, We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial was held, with a crowd of 400,000 people.
- In 2010, the restoration project began.
- In 2010, the Restoring Honor rally was held.
- As of 2012, the restoration project was completed and the pool was reopened on August 31.
- On December 31, 2012, National Park Rangers, using their personal funds and time, lit over 2,000 candles around the reflecting pool in commemoration of the 150 anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation where the Park Service rang in the New Year with a Night Watch and Freedom Vigil and the singing of "My Country 'tis of Thee."
- On August 28, 2013, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech was commemorated by an all day event featuring various speakers including President Barack Obama and John Lewis, the only speaker from the original rally to remain living.
- Photos of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool
- NBC Washington: Changes Planned for Lincoln Memorial, Reflecting Pool