One of the most actively used public outdoor spaces, the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is visited by more than 30 million people each year. But all of that traffic takes a toll on this popular national park, which spans from the base of the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, and to the Jefferson Memorial along the Tidal Basin. To combat years of neglect and inadequate funding, the Trust for the National Mall (nationalmall.org), the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, is working with the Park Service on the National Mall Plan, a comprehensive agenda for restoring the area and making physical improvements to the site. The plan carries with it a $400 million price tag.
A major initiative to help turn these planned improvements into a reality is the National Mall Design Competition. The three-stage competition will select design teams by the end of 2012 for sites earmarked in the National Mall Plan: Union Square, Washington Monument Grounds at Sylvan Theater, and Constitution Gardens.
Although the competition is under way, it doesn't mean that there aren't active steps already being taken to restore and upgrade certain elements. One of the first projects, completed in December, is a lighting retrofit of the 174 historic bronze street lamps designed by Frederick Law Olmsted that line the Mall from 3rd Street NW to 14th Street NW.
“This energy-efficient lighting transformation of our country's National Mall will create a brilliant display of light while also providing a welcoming environment to visitors in the years to come.”
— Rick Leaman, president and CEO of Osram Sylvania
The D6 Area Lighting LED Retrofit Kits were donated by Osram Sylvania and are expected to provide an annual energy savings of 65 percent or 77,500 kWh. The new 55W LEDs replace a mix of existing 175W metal halide high-intensity discharge lamps and 105W compact fluorescent sources. Each circular LED array, which comes with two drivers for bi-level dimming, fits into the original lantern housing and provides a directional lighting solution that offers a better-lit and more-secure environment.
As Rick Leaman, president and CEO of Osram Sylvania, noted in his remarks during the dedication ceremony on Jan. 30, “This energy-efficient lighting transformation of our country's National Mall will create a brilliant display of light while also providing a welcoming environment to visitors in the years to come.”