Lincoln Memorial museum, exhibits to be added as part of $69 million upgrade project

The Lincoln Memorial will receive a major upgrade that will include a new museum beneath the monument and other improvements that will be part of a nearly $69 million project.

The project will create 15,000 square feet of exhibit space that will tell the story of the memorial and will give visitors a look at the cavernous area below the structure known as the undercroft.

The new museum will feature exhibits and multi-media presentations and will highlight the construction history of the memorial. The project will also include new restrooms, a bookstore and an elevator to the chamber level.

The National Park Service describes the undercroft of the Lincoln Memorial as a tall grid of concrete columns surrounded by large expanses of open space.

The project will provide floor-to-ceiling glass walls with a view of the undercroft.

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Lincoln Memorial Project

The public-private partnership project was first announced in 2016, NPS says, with an $18.5 million donation from philanthropist David M. Rubenstein. The NPS and private donations will also contribute to the project.

Construction should begin in March with completion expected in 2026 -- in time for the 250th anniversary of American independence.

NPS says access to the memorial, including the steps and chamber with the statue of Abraham Lincoln, will remain open to the public during the construction.

The basement area exhibits, restrooms and elevator will close this spring,

Temporary restrooms, bookstore and a handicapped accessible lift will be available for the duration of the work.