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A glimpse at the National Mall of the future

A glimpse at the National Mall of the future

Posting in Architecture

The National Mall is in desperate need of a makeover. Here's a look at the 12 finalists who hope to revitalize America's Front Lawn.

The National Mall in Washington, D.C. is in desperate need of a makeover. "America's Front Yard" hasn't seen a major renovation since 1976, even though about 30 million people visit the site each year. Fortunately, help is on the way.

This week, the Trust for the National Mall, the non-profit restoration partner of the National Parks Service, announced the short-list of redesign proposals for three sections of the National Mall. The list was trimmed to 12 for the different sections, with four finalists for each section. The Associated Press reports:

Since last September, architects and designers have been competing for the chance to make over areas near the Capitol, Washington Monument and Constitution Gardens, which was once imagined as a pastoral park near the Lincoln Memorial. It has since been left as a fetid pool with crumbling edges, surrounded by broken sidewalks. Each of the designs would bring major changes, adding amenities including food options and restrooms.

"The face of the mall is going to change quite dramatically," said Donald Stastny, an architect hired to oversee the competition. "If you're in Constitution Gardens, it's going to be cool, as opposed to 'How did I end up in this place?'"

Below we'll catch a glimpse at each finalist's idea of what the reimagined National Mall could look like.

First, we'll take a look at the finalists for the Constitution Gardens redesign.

1. Andropogon & Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

2. Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architect & Paul Murdoch Architects

3. OLIN & Weiss/Manfredi

4. Rogers Marvel Architects & Peter Walker and Partners

Next, we'll look at the redesign candidates for the Washington Monument Grounds at Sylvan Theater.

1. Balmori Associates & Work Architecture Company

2. Diller Scofidio Renfro & Hood Design

3. Michael Maltzan Architecture & Tom Leader Studio

4. OLIN & Weiss/Manfredi

Finally, we'll take a peek at the proposed ideas for Union Square.

1. Diller Scofidio Renfro & Hood Design

2. Gustafson Guthrie Nichol & Davis Brody Bond

3. Pei Cobb Freed & Partners & Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect

4. Snohetta & AECOM

Any of these designs would go a long way toward upgrading the look and feel of one of the most important public spaces in the United States. But which ones are your favorites? Go here to see each design in greater detail.

Finalists emerge to redesign National Mall sites [Associated Press]

Images: Courtesy of The Trust for the National Mall

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Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure