National Mall Renovation Lookin’ Snazzy

I went downtown today to hit the US Botanical Garden and a couple of museums, and I got a peek at the renovations to the National Mall.

Here is my exclusive, professional-quality footage:

Turf renovation on the National Mall

Turf renovation on the National Mall

The renovations include: the turf itself, its underlying soil, improved drainage and irrigation, and a nifty granite edging that really sets the grass off nicely. Looks pretty sharp, don’t you think?

For the sake of comparison, check out how it looked in 2008:


Photo credit: David July/

Ugh. I am so glad they are fixing up the Mall, because it was actually getting embarrassing bringing out-of-town visitors down there. Many people call the Mall “America’s Front Yard” and frankly ours was starting to look like that neighbor’s yard — the one that everyone bitches to their HOA about.

I know that, as a nation, we are trending away from lawn, but I think that lawn makes sense here in front of the U.S. Capitol, where people gather to protest laws, march for their rights, celebrate national holidays, and play frisbee.

This is America, damn it. If we are going to have giant lawn in front of our Capitol, we should do it better than anybody in the world! Or at least better than the Clampetts or the Ewells would do.

Oh, and P.S., according to the sign below, as of this posting, the US Government has less than 24 hours left to complete the renovation!


13 thoughts on “National Mall Renovation Lookin’ Snazzy

  1. Last time there in fall 2004, and it was in better shape! Collecting stormwater for irrigation…what will it take for more projects in the arid SW to do that? Still a niche thing in niche towns like Tucson. I’m very interested in seeing that the left and right thirds, with various other trees and plants will become…maybe the lawn w/ the side plantings will be done better than others?

    • Yes, I’m not sure what plans they have for the side panels of lawn. Many of those sections still have rows of nice old elms. It might be hard to renovate those sections without messing with the elms.

  2. I’m so glad to hear they’re finally sprucing it up, lawn and all. I was there a few years ago and couldn’t help noticing how bad the Mall looked. I agree that our nation’s capital should look like someone’s TRYING.

    • Absolutely, Pam. And although I think lawn is good on the Mall, I’m all for getting rid of it in front of the White House…would love to see what the Lawn Gone lady would come up with as an alternative! :o)

  3. Just the fact that we have to view it through a chain link fence and the fiscal cliff that out government has created should give us all pause. Let’s instead think about why our government is where it is. Speak up and be heard or forever hold your peace. Sorry-I am a realist and we need to pay attention!

  4. I hit the same stops on Saturday, and reading the same sign I mentioned to one of my travel mates they had until today to get it fixed (kind of like the fiscal cliff deadline), but she said technically according to how the sign was worded they only had until 11/30/2012. Details, details, at least they are working on it.

  5. I visited on a family holiday and felt the place should be spruced up. Compare this to the fixtures and gardens surrounding many other capitals and it’s severely lacking. The new plans look encouraging though.

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