13 October 2017
Image courtesy of Kevin Wolf/Trust for the National Mall via AP Images
Yesterday, marked the greatly anticipated move of the Lockkeeper’s House – the oldest structure on the National Mall in DC. The move comes as part of a major restoration project that will transform the historic structure into a new educational site on the National Mall.
For some background on the building, the house once served the lock that connected the Washington branch of the Chesapeake and Ohio canal to the Washington City canal that crossed the capital city parallel to the national mall. The city canal suffered problems from its inception, and ultimately became an open sewer. The result for the Lockkeeper's House was the filling in of the canals, leaving it removed from its purpose.
After World War II, the house became a comfort station, but was abandoned except for some use as storage for groundskeepers. Few visitors to the park could visualize the historic scene of canal barges passing by the foot of the ellipse and docking at the wharf that once extended to the south of the house, nor the image of the Potomac River extending nearly to the base of the Washington Monument.
Thanks to the move, the Lockkeeper’s House will have a new life and purpose.
Henry Adams provided the MEP engineering design for the revitalization of the historic house, which included the relocation, renovation, and an addition to the building.