NPS - National Park Service

12/01/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/01/2021 10:22

Restoration Work Begins on Thomas Jefferson Memorial

News Release Date:
December 1, 2021

Contact:Mike Litterst, 202-306-4166

WASHINGTON - The National Park Service has begun a two-year project to improve accessibility and visitor services at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The chamber of the memorial and the statue of Thomas Jefferson will remain open and accessible for the duration of the project.

The visitor experience at the memorial will be dramatically improved as the existing lower level 2500 square foot exhibit area, installed in 1994, will be completely renovated. The expanded and reimagined exhibit space will include completely new state-of-the-art exhibits, providing more perspectives as it shares Thomas Jefferson's multi-faceted story. In addition, the museum will be universally accessible, incorporating tactile and audio elements into the exhibits. Additionally, approximately 450 square feet of exhibit area will be installed in the chamber level of the memorial where none previously existed.

Accessibility improvements include the construction of two sloped pathways east and west of the front steps of the memorial. These ramps will significantly decrease the distance of the accessible route from the front of the memorial to the chamber level. Additionally, the existing elevator will be modernized in order to provide more reliable access from the ground level to the chamber. The project brings public spaces at the memorial into compliance with the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards.Additional work to the memorial during the project will include:

  • replacing the severely damaged paving on the lower terrace in front of the memorial
  • reconfiguring the lower-level restrooms and retail space.
  • upgrades to the fire suppression and security systems.
Access to the front of the memorial, including the steps, accessible ramps and route, and chamber with the statue of Thomas Jefferson will remain open to the public during the construction. The lower level with exhibits, restrooms, elevator and retail space will close in December, however temporary restrooms and a handicapped accessible lift will be available when the visitor services area is under construction.

The project is funded by the National Park Foundation, thanks to generous support from philanthropist and businessman David M. Rubenstein and The Nau Foundation, and by National Park Service line-item construction funds.

A previous rehabilitation project to replace the Thomas Jefferson Memorial's three roof systems and clean all of the exterior marble was completed in September. That project was funded by the National Park Service line-item construction program and funding from the Great American Outdoors Act.