Category: an American national monument built to honor the 16th President of the United States

The Abraham Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The Lincoln Memorial towers over the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall. The structure anchors the western end of the Mall, and is a must-see for every visitor to the nation’s capital. On Memorial Day, May 30, 1922, the building was dedicated, 57 years after Lincoln died. About 50,000 people attended the ceremonies, including hundreds of Civil War veterans and Robert Todd Lincoln, the president’s only surviving son. The main speakers were President Warren Harding, former President William Howard Taft, and Dr. Robert Moton, principal of the Tuskegee Institute, who delivered the keynote address. New York architect Henry Bacon modeled the memorial in the style of a Greek temple. The classic design features 36 Doric columns outside, symbolizing the states in the Union at Lincoln’s death. The building measures 204 feet long, 134 feet wide, and 99 feet tall, with 44-foot columns. It blends stone from various states: white Colorado marble for the exterior, Indiana limestone for the interior walls, pink Tennessee marble for the floor, and Alabama marble for the ceiling. Daniel Chester French, the leading American sculptor of the day, created the famous statue of Lincoln which dominates the interior. The memorial plans originally specified a 12-foot bronze statue, but it proved out of scale for the huge building. The finished statue is 19 feet tall, carved of 28 blocks of white Georgia marble. French later had special lighting installed to enhance the figure. Visitors sometimes ask if the hands have special significance (such as forming the letter “A” in sign language), but there is no indication French intended it. The Lincoln Memorial is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Rangers are on duty from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The easiest way to reach the Memorial is by Metrorail or Metrobus. The nearest Metro stations are Foggy Bottom and Smithsonian. If traveling by Metrobus, take the 32, 34 or 36 routes. Capital Bikeshare also has a dock nearby, on Daniel French Drive SW.