The inside of the Lincoln Memorial is separated into three rooms (north, south, and central). The rooms are separated by two rows of four ionic columns. Look up at these 50-foot-tall columns. They're made of aluminum with gold leafing on them to give the effect of stone.
The north room is rich in American history. It contains a large marble statue of Abraham Lincoln by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and two other statues: one of Thomas Edison by John Quincy Adams and another of Rosa Parks by Paul Manship.
The south room has portraits of leaders in American history who were members of Congress or presidents. There's also a huge stained glass window entitled "History of Civilization from Its Origins to A.D. 1492." It was created by Charles Clemons and was installed in 1932.
The central room is filled with natural light thanks to a series of windows that face east toward the National Mall. The walls here are covered with panels of Italian marble created by Giuseppe Gabrielli in 1872.
Outside on the mall, you'll find the world-famous Lincoln Monument. It's designed by Henry Bacon and was completed in 1922. Next door is the Jefferson Memorial which was designed by Edward Clark and was finished in 1924.
36 fluted Doric columns surround the memorial, one for each of the 36 states in the Union at the time of Lincoln's death. When you climb up the steps, you'll notice two more columns at the entryway behind the colonnade. These represent the original states, Delaware and Pennsylvania, which were joined together to form a new state: Maryland. This makes 37 columns in all.
The base of each column is made up of four large blocks of Vermont marble, with the top of each block decorated with a floral motif. In between each pair of columns is an Ionic-style capital, also made of Vermont marble. The entire structure is covered in white Portland cement, which helps it stand out against the red Virginia granite background of the memorial itself.
The steps are wide and shallow, with an average depth of about 18 inches (45 cm). They are divided into five flights, with each flight containing six steps. The first two flights are made of wood, while the remaining three flights are made of stone. At the top of the monument, just below the belfry, is a small platform with another set of steps leading up to it. These are called the "little stairs" because they're not as big as the main steps.
In addition to the number of columns, there are also seventy-six panels depicting various scenes from Lincoln's life.
The Lincoln Memorial has three internal chambers that are similar to the Opisthodomos, Adyton, Naos, and Pronaos chambers found in Ancient Greek temples. Like the god sculptures in Greek temples, the Lincoln Memorial's center chamber (Nps.gov, Lincoln Memorial Design and Symbolism), which is 71 feet long, 13 feet wide, and 12 feet high, houses a large statue of Abraham Lincoln. The memorial was designed by Jefferson Davis, who was also responsible for the design of the Washington Monument.
Opisthodomos: This is an antechamber that is located just inside the entrance of the temple and it functions as a vestibule or hallway where visitors can remove their shoes and wash their hands before entering the main sanctuary.
Adyton: This is a small room located just inside the opisthodomos that serves as a place of solitude where priests could pray or meditate. It is usually only about five feet high and seven feet wide.
Naos: This is the main chamber of the temple where the sacred fire was kept during religious ceremonies. The walls of the naos were often covered with colorful paintings depicting mythological scenes that would have been important to the culture that built the temple.
Pronaos: This is another small room located just outside of the naos that served as a place for female priests to prepare themselves for ritual duties.
The Lincoln Memorial has 36 Colorado marble columns, one for each state in the Union at the time of Lincoln's death in 1865; each column is 44 feet (13.4 metres) tall. Above the colonnade, the names of the 48 contiguous states are displayed, along with the dates of their accession to the Union in Roman numerals. The total height of the memorial from base to crown is 165 feet (49.8 meters).
Lincoln was only six feet two inches (181 cm) tall and weighed about 140 pounds (63 kg). The tallest man in the world when he died was 7-foot-1 (213 cm) Charles Lindbergh. The shortest confirmed person who has ever lived was 4-foot-11 (145 cm) Larry Ellison. The average male height is five feet 10 inches (178 cm), and the average female height is four feet eleven inches (144 cm).
In conclusion, the columns on the Lincoln Memorial are 44 feet high.
Two buttresses flank the stairs, each capped with an 11' tall tripod carved from pink Tennessee marble. The memorial is encircled by 38 fluted Doric columns, one for each of the Union's 36 states at the time of Lincoln's death. The overall height of the monument including the base and attic is about 40 feet.
The steps were originally painted red, white, and blue to match the American flag but now are gray. A bronze balustrade runs along the top of the steps, also worn down in some areas from years of use.
The Lincoln Memorial was designed by architect Edwin Forrest Davis and completed in 1922. It was intended as a tribute to Abraham Lincoln but also serves as a memorial to those who have died while serving in the U.S. military.
Check out our Lincoln Memorial photo tour to see all its features.