The Jefferson Memorial is a monument in the Capital Wasteland in 2277. The location forms a central part in the game's storyline, with several main and side quests taking part here. It has five interior sections that can be accessed.
The Jefferson Memorial was a memorial in Washington, D.C. dedicated to the 18th-century politician Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was the principal author of the original draft of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States. This 20th-century monument was built on the bank of the Tidal Basin of the River Potomac, and it was a major tourist site, perhaps second only to the Washington Monument. Unlike many other monuments in the city which were severely damaged or destroyed in the Great War of 2077, the Jefferson Memorial survived relatively intact into the 23rd century.
In the 2250s, the memorial was selected by project lead James for Project Purity, primarily due to its location. The project's stated aim was for converting the memorial into a water purifier where the river's water could be cleansed of radiation for use by residents of the Capital Wasteland. Project Purity was abandoned after James' wife Catherine died giving birth to their child, and then picked up again 20 years later.
The statue of Thomas Jefferson can be seen in pristine condition submerged within the Project Purity facility as it is activated.
In the add-on Broken Steel, the purifier is operational. Brotherhood of Steel Knights and Scribes work inside and patrol the outside of the memorial under the direction of Bigsley, overseeing the ongoing operation of Project Purity and organizing distribution of the Aqua Pura it generates. Additional Knights patrol the catwalks and shore for dying mirelurks, which apparently are being poisoned by the clean water. This may be due to the fact that mirelurks evolved after much of the Wasteland's water was irradiated, and can thus only survive in radioactive water.
The water caravans that depart from the Jefferson Memorial take a C-Route from the memorial, west to Smith Casey's Garage, northeast to Paradise Falls and then continue to the Republic of Dave where they turn around back on their route.
The exterior of the Jefferson Memorial has a variety of platforms as well as a few super mutant patrols. The entrance to the memorial is through the gift shop doors on either side of the platforms.
Upon entering the memorial from the gift shop side entrance, one enters into a long hallway. At the other end of this hallway is a rubble-filled room with a sewer grate hatch that is accessible and is a main part during The Waters of Life quest. Taking a right down the hall leads to a lobby with the gift shop and a turret placed on the roof, Bigsley's office during Broken Steel to the left and ruined bathrooms to the right. Once past the second double doors, you enter an area of ruined corridors and entrances to the rotunda and the memorial sub-basement. Before The Waters of Life quest, these areas are filled with level-dependent super mutants, including super mutant overlords at higher levels. This area includes many random junk items, and one Nuka-Cola vending machine.
The rotunda is home to the Project Purity purifier; the purifier itself is built around the statue of Thomas Jefferson. The rotunda floor is covered in water and one cannot swim through it. The purifier has two levels of catwalks that hang over the pool of water that was the rotunda floor. The first-level catwalk encircles the purifier with a dead end at one end and a staircase leading to the second level on the other. The second level is an enclosed catwalk of steel and glass window walls. The activation panel is located here along with the Auxiliary Filtration Input system panel into which the modified FEV can be injected. Two leveled super mutants will spawn here: one on the first level catwalk and the other on the second levels.
Going down the stairs one enters into a room filled with ruined desks and shelves, plus a gore bag left by the super mutants. In the middle of this room is a fenced opening that looks down onto the flood pools on the below level. To the left of this opening is the mainframe, which can only be accessed during and after the quest, the Waters of Life. To the right is a hall leading to a room on the left and the stairwell to the below level. The room on the left of this hall is a small clinic with an examination table and medical and surgical tools on a tray. This is the room in which the Lone Wanderer was born.
Down the stairs, one enters into what used to be the living quarters for the Project Purity science team filled with bunkbeds, footlockers, and filing cabinets. Past this room one reaches a four-way intersection of hallways. Taking a right leads to the flood pools. Taking a left leads you to the flood control switch and James' former sleeping quarters. Going straight forward leads to a turn and a room on the right at the end of the hallway. This room leads to another room where the auxiliary power fuse box is located. This room and the flood pools area are connected here by a small hallway. This area is filled with level-dependent super mutants.
- The room in which the Lone Wanderer was born can be found on the sub-basement level. After exiting the stairwell leading to the sub-basement, take the corridor to the right and immediately turn left. There will be a super mutant inside on your first visit. The room contains a hospital bed and medical equipment, but no notable loot. The gene projector can be found folded up against the ceiling.
- In the room in which you find the "Better Days" note, there is a framed photo of Revelation 21:6.
- If you started the Strictly Business quest and used the Mesmetron on Flak, his partner Shrapnel will wander around this area and will help you shoot down the super mutants or Enclave that spawn in the area.
- Take it Back!, Enclave troopers will storm the memorial, and (most of the time) get killed by Brotherhood of Steel knights/paladins. They will respawn every 3 days, so this is a great source of Enclave power armor and energy weapons. After completing
- It is possible to get on the memorial itself, though you must have the purifier activated. All you have to do is jump on the yellow barrels near the fences and do a catwalk on the fence. Then jump over the rails and onto the steps.
- PC It is possible to reenter the memorial sub-basement after starting Broken Steel by using the console command tcl to walk through the sift pump pipe, where you saw an Enclave Vertibird land during The Waters of Life. If you enter the gift shop from the basement, however, it will appear as it did before Broken Steel.
- A number of quests can be skipped in the beginning of Fallout 3 if you follow the river to this location.
- Between The Waters of Life and Take it Back!, Enclave soldiers will seize control of the building and put up a Tesla barrier around it, preventing the player from reaching it. The barrier can only be shut down by Liberty Prime.
Jefferson Memorial appears only in Fallout 3.
- PC Playstation 3 Xbox 360 After The Waters of Life quest, part of the fence is missing, this allowing one to walk inside; the Enclave troops within are not hostile. [verified]
- Playstation 3 Xbox 360 If one kills all the hostiles inside the Jefferson Memorial before talking to Dr. Li for the first time, they won't be able to give James the all-clear during The Waters of Life. Thus, one won't be able to let him inside, preventing the game from being completed. [verified]
- PC Playstation 3 Xbox 360 If one tells Fawkes to leave right before activating the purifier, once one gets to Broken Steel, he will be stuck in an inaccessible part of the Jefferson Memorial. [verified]