Saturday, February 3, 2018

Moving the Lock-keeper's House

A little while back, I posted an update on the old Lock-Keeper's House on Constitution Avenue here in DC. In case you haven't been keeping tabs on this (who are you and why don't you care, by the way??), the Lock-keeper's House is one of the oldest structures in DC (c. 1836). It used to be home to the lock-keeper, who watched over the C&O Canal Extension, which connected the C&O (that's Chesapeake and Ohio) with the Washington Canal, which was located where Constitution Ave is now. The Potomac came up nearly to the base of the Washington Monument and the front lawn of the White House. Today, of course, it's been filled in to form the National Mall.

It's a little hard to tell, but that's the building there just right of center, and it's moved back
from the street (see the cars on the left?).

After years/decades of being neglected, the poor old Lock-keeper's House was in pretty bad shape for a long time. Part of the problem was its proximity to the very-busy Constitution Ave. It was about fifteen feet off of the six (or eight? my memory is failing me) lane street. But, luckily, the NPS got funding to restore it, and work got underway last year. A few weeks ago, I took my usual walk up Constitution Ave. from work, and lo and behold, the house had been moved! It is now back a respectable (and respectful) distance from the street.

And look, here's a video here of the move! Very neat:

 I came back two days later and saw that the entire place was encased in a kind of tent of plastic sheets. That must mean the serious work is taking place underneath. When done, the place will serve as a visitor's center for the National Mall (this work is part of a revamping of Constitution Gardens).

The Lock-keeper's House's current status.

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