The memorial is encircled by 36 fluted Doric columns, one for each of the Union's 36 states 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. The columns, like the outside walls and facades, are somewhat inwards inclined. This gives the appearance that someone or something is guarding the entrance.
Inside the memorial, a great wall of glass faces east toward the National Mall. At night, when lights are turned on, it looks like a luminous ocean breaking over the wall. The sun rises here every morning, just as it did when Lincoln was alive to see it.
Lincoln is depicted in a reclining position with his hands folded across his chest. He looks out over the nation he saved, gazing calmly ahead. There are also figures representing the nations of the world along with various symbols of peace. The statue was made by American artist James E. Kelly, and its inscription reads: "Here rests the only man in America who could have become President but chose to serve another country."
Lincoln has been called the "Great Emancipator" and "The Prince of Peace". He has also been criticized for not doing enough to abolish slavery. But whatever your opinion about him, there's no denying that he is one of our most important presidents.
These columns stand 44 feet tall and have a seven-foot-five-inch base diameter. The walls between the columns are made of white Vermont marble, while the floors are composed of black and white marble. The entire structure is covered with four layers of cement: a base, middle layer, and upper layer for traction. The whole thing is surrounded by a low stone wall.
Lincoln was born in 1809 in Kentucky. He moved to Indiana when he was nine years old and then to Illinois when he was 21. In 1846, he became the president of a new country called America. During his presidency, the country fought two wars (with Mexico and with Britain + France) and managed to end slavery, but it did not succeed in bringing about peace throughout the world. Lincoln died in 1865 at the age of 57 after being shot by an actor named John Wilkes Booth.
Lincoln has been called the nation's greatest lawyer, politician, orator, and leader. His ideas have also been used to create many other things such as laws, offices, etc.
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 from base to crown of the top step is 32 feet 10 inches (10 meters).
The steps were originally painted red, white, and blue to match the American flag but now are mostly gray. A bronze sculpture of a man standing on the top step was created by Frederick William MacMonnies but was destroyed during World War II. A replacement was designed by Edward Clark Potter and cast in 1952-1953.
MacMonnies also designed the statue of Lincoln at the center of the memorial. He modeled his image after a photograph taken when Lincoln was speaking before a large crowd in Springfield, Illinois. The memorial was dedicated on April 24, 1939.
In 1955, the National Park Service acquired the site of the Lincoln Memorial from the federal government and has been managing it ever since. Today, it is one of several sites across the country that pays tribute to our 16th president. The park service also manages other museums and monuments around Washington, D.C., that focus on different aspects of Lincoln's life and career.