Lakeside gardens, dining rooms hovering over water, grassy new amphitheaters and underground pavilions at the foot of the Washington Monument have emerged as finalists in a design competition to overhaul neglected sites on the National Mall.
Designers and architects are dreaming big for a chance to improve the place sometimes called America’s front yard. One vision calls for a garden “museum without walls” in part of the mall called Constitution Gardens. Another would “peel up” the landscape of the Washington Monument to reveal a theater and visitor amenities below ground.
The Associated Press had an exclusive early look at the results of a competition conducted by the nonprofit Trust for the National Mall. The finalists’ concepts will go on display Monday through Sunday at the Smithsonian Castle and National Museum of American History.