The oldest standing structure on the National Mall – the 1835 Lockkeeper’s House – is the only visible remnant of the once illustrious canal industry that was vital to DC’s urban growth. Originally constructed to house the operator of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which ran directly to the north where Constitution Avenue is now located, this 730 square foot building will now be a key component in the redesigned Constitution Gardens.
DBA has been working with the Trust for the National Mall on the relocation and adaptive reuse of this historic structure, which has been closed to the public for the past 40 years. Moved once in 1915, the Lockkeeper’s House will be relocated again approximately 30 feet southwest and repurposed as an interpretive space for DC’s canal history and the history of Constitution Gardens. DBA has been working with the numerous stakeholders throughout its relocation and restorative design to create a new significant public space that will be a significant entry point to the new gardens. All work has complied with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Rehabilitation of Historic Structures and best sustainable practices. Necessary federal and local permits and approvals have been obtained and Construction Administration is expected to start this summer as part of the Phase I rehabilitation of Constitution Gardens, designed by Peter Walker Partners Landscape Architecture.