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Constitution Gardens is the land between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial bound by Constitution Avenue to the north and the Reflecting Pool to the south. Before the McMillan Commission’s 1901 plans, the land was completely submerged beneath the Potomac River. The Army Corps of Engineers dredged the area in the beginning of the 20th century. During World War I, the land was home to temporary Navy offices which remained there until 1970. During the bicentennial restoration of the Mall, Constitution Gardens was chosen as the ideal space for a quiet oasis from the bustling city. The 52-acre park was officially dedicated in 1976. President Reagan proclaimed it a “living legacy tribute” to the Constitution on September 17, 1986 in honor of the Constitution's bicentennial.

http://www.nps.gov/coga/index.htm
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