The Jefferson Memorial is a circular, open-air edifice with a modest dome supported by a circular colonnade of 26 Ionic columns. A total of 12 columns support the north portico, with four columns standing in each of the memorial's four entrances. The central portion of the memorial is a large, flat platform divided into three sections by two rows of sixteenth-century Italian marble statues, each about 3 feet high and weighing approximately 100 pounds. These statues depict scenes from Thomas Jefferson's life.
Inside the memorial, visitors can see an eternal flame dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, who died in 1826 at age 83. It was originally lit on April 13, 1831, the day he was buried near his home in Virginia. The flame was transferred to a new site in Washington, D.C., in 1883 and rekindled every year on Independence Day until it was permanently placed in the memorial upon its construction in 1924.
President Roosevelt officially dedicated the Jefferson Memorial on April 13, 1943, the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth. The building cost a little more than $3 million. The Jefferson Memorial has a total land area of approximately 7,410 square meters (79,758 square feet). That's larger than a football field.
Roosevelt is buried in his home state of New York, but he requested that no monument be erected over his body. The American people wanted to honor him, so they decided to build their own memorial instead. The Jefferson Memorial was designed by architect Robert M. Schofield and sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon. It features a seated Jefferson wearing a robe and holding a scroll with these words from his second inaugural address: "I will pursue my principles alone and I will not compromise them for any party or person."
In 1951, Congress passed legislation authorizing the secretary of the department to sell surplus federal property. The bill specified that any proceeds above expenses would go into a general fund to be used for other federal projects. So the government sold the lot next to the Jefferson Memorial and gave the money back to the public.
This sale provided enough cash to pay for the entire project. The memorial was built using funds from this sale. The remaining balance was paid by annual appropriations from Congress.
The dome-shaped rotunda celebrates the country's third president with a 19-foot bronze monument of Jefferson surrounded by Declaration of Independence excerpts. The memorial is located in the Tidal Basin and is encircled by a grove of trees, making it especially lovely during the spring Cherry Blossom season.
The memorial was designed by American artist James Earle Fraser and built by Italian sculptor Giovanni Caproni. It was completed in 1928 to commemorate America's third president, Thomas Jefferson.
Fraser was inspired by Michelangelo's statue of David and also by such European artists as Canova and Thorwaldsen. The memorial shows Jefferson standing with his right hand raised in a gesture of welcome or appeal while with his left he holds a sheet with excerpts from the Declaration of Independence.
The inscription on the base of the memorial reads as follows: "To mark the spot where Thomas Jefferson stood when he drafted the Declaration of Independence. July 4th 1776".
This is one of several monuments that can be found across the United States commemorating important events in American history. There are others such as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., which is a stone wall with etched names of those who died in that war.
The Mexican War (1846-1848) resulted in the annexation of more than 50,000 square miles of land, giving America its first continental borders.
The 32,000-ton memorial celebrates the nation's third president and the primary author of the Declaration of Independence with a 19-foot bronze statue of Jefferson. The property is still available, and the work is expected to be completed by next spring. It will be on display in Washington during an anniversary celebration in July.
Jefferson was born April 13, 1743 in Virginia. He became the first secretary of state under President George Washington and was elected the country's first vice president when John Adams withdrew from the election due to health concerns. Jefferson served as president from 1801 to 1809. He died in Charlottesville, Virginia, on July 4, 1826, at age 67.
During his lifetime, Jefferson was regarded as one of the most important political figures in American history. His ideas about government led to the formation of the Department of State, Department of Justice, and other agencies that manage foreign relations and administer justice within our borders today.
In 2005, a group of artists created a digital reconstruction of Jefferson's brain using 3D imaging technology. The project was sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and funded by donations from individuals across the country. A copy of the virtual brain is also housed at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland.
In 2008, a museum opened near where Jefferson lived in Paris, France.
The roof has taken a beating from the rain. And, 76 years after it was erected during World War II, the Jefferson Memorial has devolved into a small and unattractive environment. The National Park Service has now launched a $8.2 million attempt to recapture the Washington monument from nature's clutches. Among other things, they plan to replace the roof.
When it was built, the roof was intended to be removable so that tourists could see America's first president up close. But since then, many people have complained about the smell and appearance of the thing, so it's been left in place. It's made of copper which has become an unpleasant gray color over time due to oxidation from the sun and rain. A team of experts from the National Park Service will evaluate different options before making a decision on what to do about the roof. However, they plan to have it replaced.
The roof was originally planned to be gold but due to cost reasons, it was changed to copper. It was designed by David Adler, who also designed the Lincoln Memorial. The memorial was completed in 1940 and opened the following year. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was not able to attend the opening ceremony because he had died earlier that year.
The Jefferson Memorial is located in Washington D.C.'s National Mall. It is part of the Smithsonian Institution. The memorial faces east toward Federal Hall where Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated as our third president in 1801.
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. Wrap your arms around the bases' five-foot-six-inch diameters. Feel how solid they are.
The walls of the memorial are made of limestone from Mount Rushmore. It took more than 7 million pounds of this stone to build the memorial. The faces on the monument were carved from one piece of granite from South Dakota.
Lincoln's image is painted in gold leaf on a canvas sheet. The picture is viewed through a clear glass panel that fits inside one of the Ionic columns. When you stand in front of it, you can see both the living portrait and the original canvas backing material.
After Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, his friends and supporters decided to create a permanent memorial to him. They chose Augustus Saint-Gaudens as the artist because of his success with other monumental sculptures such as Houdon's statue of George Washington.
Saint-Gaudens used many real photographs for inspiration when he created the likeness of Lincoln. He even hired an actor to play a major role in the making of the sculpture. This "mockup" version of Lincoln was used to test ideas for his final product before starting work on it in metal.