National Park Service/Tipping Mar


National Mall structures affected by the 2011 earthquake included the Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and War Memorial. Other structures evaluated included the Arlington House at the Arlington National Cemetery, Peterson House, Theodore Roosevelt Island footbridge, Wolf Trap, and other Park Service office buildings. The structures varied in construction and age, with the most notable mall structures being of stone construction.


WJE structural engineers experienced in post-earthquake damage assessment of historic structures arrived at the National Mall within 48 hours of the earthquake. The engineers performed rapid screenings of the subject structures to assess structural and nonstructural seismic damage. The purpose of the screenings was to determine the extent and significance of damage as it relates to the safety of occupants and/or the stability of the structural systems.

WJE developed recommendations for short term damage mitigation measures and, where appropriate, recommendations for further studies. WJE observed damage that ranged from minor to more serious, with the Washington Monument being the most severally damaged. Stabilization measures and building repair recommendations were summarized and assigned a rough order-of-magnitude cost for future planning purposes.

WJE's rapid deployment to the affected areas allowed the National Park Service to quickly determine the potential public safety issues at each facility. With the exception of the Washington Monument, all facilities were reopened to the public. Several structures required short term mitigation measures be executed before full public access was granted.