Project Spotlights

CW CESU partners collaborate to document physical history of the Lincoln Memorial

The team’s overall approach is to anticipate, embrace, and manage change as it happens.
Molly Lester, Associate Director of the Urban Heritage Project
The marble Lincoln Memorial sits on the far end of the Reflecting Pool at dusk, where its reflection is seen in the water.
Credit: NPS/Terry Adams. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, National Capital Region, Office of Communications and Tourism

Randall Mason, a professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and a team of students from the University’s Weitzman School of Design have been working with the National Park Service (NPS) to document the Lincoln Memorial’s physical history as part of a longer-term research initiative called the Urban Heritage Project. They’ve recently completed their report, which extends the Memorial’s “period of significance,” or the period that best demonstrates why the building matters historically, from the original 1914-1933 used in previous studies to the present, capturing the decades in which the Memorial has been an important national stage for activism.

To learn more about this partnership between CHWA CESU partners the University of Pennsylvania and the National Park Service and their project findings, visit