Most weekends, especially when the weather is nice, I do an epic (for me) walk and run around the Mall. I particularly liked the Washington Monument. Before the earthquake, my favorite thing to do was use the marble pavement circling it as my own track. That’s why a story in The Post last month about a national competition to reimagine the iconic structure piqued my interest.  The openness of the entire space gives all an unobstructed view of the iconic structure. Still, the grounds are a bit barren and can be unforgiving when the weather is brutal. Casting the place in a whole new light would be amazing. But how?

Six finalists were selected in July and now the public is being asked to comment. You can see them and vote on them (until May 2012) at All are interesting. Two captured my imagination.

(By Red Square)

Keep in mind, the National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument is a mental exercise, one in which you can participate. Take a look at all six design concepts and cast a vote. “This competition will give Americans of all ages an opportunity to help shape a national discussion of creative and innovative ideas,” say the competition organizers. Considering how this town works, coming up with great ideas for what to do will be a piece of cake compared to actually turning them into reality.