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Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: October 08, 2006 08:37AM
Years ago I remember reading that the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC is built over caverns. At that time there were tours of the cavern on avery limited space basis.

Does anyone know anything about this? I can't find any reference to it through google.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: October 08, 2006 09:11AM
400 feet from the tidal Potomac?
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: Chupa Chupa
Date: October 08, 2006 09:21AM
The LM is actually built on landfill. The "land" it sits on was formerly a swamp, just like much of DC once was. The only thing beneath the LM to my knowledge is a gift shop, bathrooms, and a mini-museum. I've been on the LM tour many times and never heard any of the Park Svc Rangers mention any caverns beneath it.

If there are it's sure to be closed to the public now as the LM is undergoing security construction now. Even the back side of the LM is closed to the public now, so I'm sure a secret underground would be as well. You can contact the Park Svc though if you want more info [www.nps.gov]
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: Tofer
Date: October 08, 2006 09:36AM
Well...it seems that Lincoln Memorial University (in Tennessee) used to own a place called "Cudjo Cavern," which is in Kentucky. Maybe that's what you're remembering?

[www.nps.gov]

-Tofer
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: rob banzai
Date: October 08, 2006 10:41AM
I think you can get a "two for one" on tours of the Alamo's basement.
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: October 08, 2006 11:30AM
Thanks all... it looks what I saw was in reference to the Lincoln Memorial University cavern system.

Just trying to plan out a trip for next summer and thought of it.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: Andrew
Date: October 08, 2006 12:23PM
You never want to dig too deep in Washington...
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: josntme
Date: October 08, 2006 12:33PM
Quote
Andrew
You never want to dig too deep in Washington...

Then I guess you would be in deep doo doo!
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: October 08, 2006 12:34PM
There was some space underneath the Lincoln, but it was filled in and converted to other use decades ago.
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: October 08, 2006 01:07PM
If I recall correctly, there used to be historical tours of the passages under the Capitol Building.

There are unmarked side-passages extending from the pedestrian tunnels that supposedly go to the White House and beyond. I believe they had one of those theme-tours where they'd describe secret cold-war meetings that took place in the various corridors. I think they were closed around 1999-2000 for construction and the tour remains shut down after 9/11.

I did some Googling and couldn't find anything about such tours, so all that I have to go on is my vague memory.
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: blusubaru
Date: October 08, 2006 04:55PM
Quote
MacMagus
If I recall correctly, there used to be historical tours of the passages under the Capitol Building.

Are you talking about the subway system for politicians? I actually got to ride on that and tour those passages back when I did a Leadership Conference in high school (1998). I doubt they let any outsider in there anymore.
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: October 10, 2006 02:51AM
> Are you talking about the subway system for politicians?

No, I'm talking about the pedestrian tunnels. The tunnels that so many espionage movies from the 1980s and early '90s featured. The tunnels that JFK supposedly used to smuggle in his dates.
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: jenny101
Date: July 01, 2009 05:13PM
Greetings! I've been on a tour under the Lincoln Memorial - i've seen the stalactites and stalagmites in person! It was in the late 80's - I was a guest of Tamassee DAR School from Tamasse SC - an orphanage founded and supported by the daughters of the American Revolution. We were in DC to perform for them - I had to give a speach in constitution hall in front of 10 thousand people - and I think I was 13 or 14! Scary! lol. I also was a member of the Tamassee Mountain Cloggers - which we performed for them on one of our evenings there.

I was on one of the last tours conducted. It was at night, we had flashlights and clear ponchos. There was a lot of dripping water, a small wooden bridge on one part of the tour, a large 'cartoon' drawn on one wall by one of the original construction crew members, and a large mound of rock in the far right corner said to have contained a body; someone who may have died during the construction process. Of course, this may have been a story to help 'dramatize' the tour. Years later, I am now a mother of 2 - and would love to show my 12 year old the same tour - however, I am completely shocked that there are NO mentions to this tour online, Nor are there any PHOTOS - feels kind of strange!

And no, this memorial was NOT built on top of any cave structure. The formations I withnessed were MUCH larger than the 1968 photos i've seen - and confined to just that space. If you google the construction of the Memorial, you can see there are NO caves around.

Things that make you go hummmmm......

Thanks,
Jenny

jenny.navarijo@att.net
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: KarenM
Date: April 11, 2010 06:18PM
I, too, have toured underneath the Lincoln Memorial. I was a child and back then...mid 1970's...the catacombs were used to farm mushrooms for local grocers. It was a night tour like you said, Jenny. I seem to remember that they were only at night. I don't remember why they were built originally, but do remember that they were man-made, not caverns. I came across this post because I have also been trying to find a tour for my children or at least some history of what's under there!

If I come up with anything, I'll let you know. There's got to be SOME info or pictures out there! confused smiley
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: rblackb3
Date: January 23, 2011 06:49PM
I too went on a tour under the Lincoln memorial in the 1970's. I was about 10 and remember it being very cool. As I remember it, there was room with windows overlooking what was a basement/foundation area. We took an elevator down to the bottom and then were able to walk and climb around the area. I remember it as one of the coolest things I did as kid growing up in DC.
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Re: Longshot - anyone know of Cavern tours under the Lincoln Memorial?
Posted by: TCamp
Date: November 07, 2013 04:31PM
Obviously, this is an issue that one person in America thinks about approximately once per year! This is my day - as I anticipate chaperoning my son's 8th grade class trip to D.C. in March.

I also took the underground tour of the Lincoln Memorial, in 1984. And this year, I finally found the most informative article on the topic, here:

[articles.orlandosentinel.com]

So it was closed in the late 80's as a result of the risk of exposure to asbestos.

It was only cave-like in the sense that the construction minerals created stalagtites and stalagmites; they were very thin, white. The boardwalk walkway from construction was intact. Charcoal drawn, political cartoons on the walls. It was definitely neat and I guess something that will never be seen again. Start a Society to re-open it!

My access was via a former Carter administration official who was the advisor for my semester in Washington, D.C. through my college, Drew University.

That's it!
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