I wish someone had told me before my recent trip (July16-20,2012) that the National Mall is under construction until at least December 2012. I don't think I would have gone...it's a MESS!! Lots of construction equipment, warning signs, temporary fences, piles of dirt, and noise. The reflecting pools are disgusting. I realize tourism is an important industry and I hate to discourage anyone...but, you just need to be warned in advance that it's not a pretty sight.