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Historic lock keeper's house reopens to the public on the National Mall

Originally built in the 1830s, the stone house served as a toll post where the C&O canal ended and the Washington canal began.

WASHINGTON -- A building you’ve probably driven by dozens of times on the National Mall is now open to visitors.

The historic lock keeper’s house is located at the corner of 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW.

According to David Smithey, a National Mall and Memorial Parks Park Guide, the stone house underwent renovations over the last year and a half to stabilize and restore it. The building was also relocated about 30 feet away from the road.

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Originally built in the 1830s, the stone house served as a toll post where the C&O canal ended and the Washington canal began. The National Park Service hopes the building will now serve as an entry point for people coming into the park.

NPS held a soft opening for the building Thursday, attracting both tourists and residents alike.

Craig Lilly stopped in to see the building after driving past it for years.

“I would drive my wife into work every morning, so I would go by this coming and going each way,” said Lilly. “And I just thought it was fascinating because it’s a lockhouse, but there’s no canal here. So there must be a great story because this is such an historic area.”

Smithey said the lockkeeper’s house will be open Thursday through Sunday, September 2nd from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. He said the grand opening will be September 13th.