DOINews: NPS: Grant to Restore National Mall's 177-year-old Lockkeeper's House

Last edited 09/05/2019

Lockkeeper's house
The 177-year-old Lockkeeper's House on the National Mall is the oldest existing structure on the National Mall. Photo by NPS.

National Mall and Memorial Parks Superintendent Robert Vogel, President of the Trust for the National Mall Caroline Cunningham, and President of American Express Foundation Timothy J. McClimon announced a $1 million grant for the restoration and preservation of the Lockkeeper's House on the National Mall. The 177-year-old house is the oldest existing structure on the National Mall.

Vogel delivered welcome remarks to the National Mall, followed by Cunningham who shared a vision for the future of the Lockkeeper's House, that includes serving as a gateway to Constitution Gardens, the nearby park that serves as a memorial to the founding fathers of the United States.

In announcing the grant, McClimon reconfirmed American Express's commitment to restoring historic places as part of the Partners in Preservation program. “Historic places, like the Lockkeeper's House, help us unlock our rich cultural and commercial past – contributing to our sense of national and local identity, playing an important role in attracting visitors and engaging local communities.”

American Express launched Partners in Preservation in 2006. The program, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, awards grants to support historic places and increase public awareness of the importance of preserving America's historic and cultural places. In 2013, American Express was named the presenting partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Treasures program.

The grant for the Lockkeeper's House will fund extensive interior and exterior restoration, including energy-efficient mechanical, electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. The house will become the first site on the National Mall to incorporate the latest technology and materials to ensure environmental sustainability. Upon completion the Lockkeeper's House will serve as a facility for educational space.

Known officially as Lock House B, the Lockkeeper's House was built in 1837 as a home and workplace for the manager of the lock connecting the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal with the Washington City Canal. The building served not only as a residence for the lockkeeper and his family, but also as an office of sorts, where he could collect tolls, keep trade records, and open and close the lock gates to allow the boats to pass through the lock.

By: Nancy Murray, NPS

Dec. 12, 2014

Related Links:

NPS-National Mall and Memorial Parks
NPS-Lockeeper's House

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