Memorials: Old Abe Gets The Brush

Old Abe Gets The Brush

Just after midnight on a hot, moonlit summer Tuesday, a National Park Service crew assembled, scrub brushes in hand. Its mission: to clean a year's worth of grime off the distinctive features of the 16th U.S. President. Once a year the 19-ft.-high statue of Abraham Lincoln at the heart of the Grecian-style memorial in Washington gets a thorough rubdown with special soap and natural- bristle brushes. Though Mr. Lincoln's baths are infrequent, their cost and duration are impressive. The twelve-hour cleaning set taxpayers back some $1,400.