Photo via Flickr
Laurie Olin, the landscape architect charged with redesigning the grounds around the Washington Monument, knew his approach needed to be friendly, simple - and safe. The monument stretches more than 555 feet in the air from the National Mall.
For years, there was nothing but asphalt walkways surrounding the monument. And in the age of terrorism, adding retaining walls/vehicle barriers didn't help much on the aesthetic appeal. But Olin decided to turn the security measures into a beautiful walk.
Olin and his firm won the National Park Service contract to design the landscaping around the monument. Now, after three years of landscaping, a curving pathway starts amid blooming trees and ends with pillow-shape benches made of white granite at the monument's base. Approximately 800 trees were planted to augment the 400 already there.