Colorado's Yule marble Pause, repeat after me: The 190-foot-long, 120-foot-wide, and 99-foot-tall memorial is made of Colorado Yule marble. One hundred twenty-four pieces of stone are used for the memorial, which took eight years to complete.
The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated on February 12, 1922. The following is from the official program: "In honor of Abraham Lincoln, two soldiers died on each side in this civil war. It is our hope that this memorial will help them not be lost."
Lincoln led the country through its founding and grew to become its greatest president. He has been called the father of America's armed forces because he developed a system for organizing them. He is also considered the father of immigration law because he helped pass legislation creating a system of homesteads where anyone who lived in a state or territory could claim up to 160 acres of public land.
Lincoln freed the slaves and abolished slavery in his country. But he failed to prevent the death of over 600,000 people in this war. He was assassinated in 1865.
Today, visitors to the Lincoln Memorial can see him looking out at them from the front row of the statue.
The façade is entirely made of Yule marble. Yule marble was used to create the Tomb of the Unknowns in 1990. Yule Marble is a metamorphosed limestone found only in the Yule Creek Valley in Colorado's West Elk Mountains, 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) southeast of the town of Marble. The last section of the memorial was completed in 1922 with Indiana limestone.
In addition to being an expensive stone - at the time it was built, the total cost was $1.05 million - Yule marble is difficult to work with because it is porous and tends to absorb moisture from the air which can cause it to crack. The interior of the memorial is decorated with white Italian marble extracted from buildings throughout the United States that were destroyed by fire or otherwise deemed unfit for human habitation. This marble was imported into Washington, D.C., where it was sawed into strips and laid down as flooring in public buildings including the White House.
The great hall is 33 feet high and 55 feet wide. It is surrounded on three sides by tiers of seats that accommodate up to 18,000 people. Above the main floor are four more levels, each about 20 feet high, containing rooms named after the states, designed to hold statues of the first ladies who attended them. Each room would have been filled with furniture and decorations suitable for entertaining guests.
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 metres).
Lincoln was only six feet two inches (181 cm) tall and weighed about 140 pounds (63 kg). The memorial was designed by Jefferson Davis, who was both a president of the Confederate States of America and an honorary colonel in the army of the Confederate States. He had the dimensions of Lincoln's body taken when he was buried in Richmond, Virginia, so that his family could order a monument to match those already erected for Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.
The statue of Lincoln at the center of the memorial was sculpted by Frederic Edwin Church. It was delivered to the site in 1872 and is 33 feet (10.2 m) high. On either side of it are statues of other leaders of Lincoln's time: on the west is a bronze version of a sculpture by Edward C. Kemeys called "Liberty Leading the People" (1870); on the east is a statue of a woman named Marian Anderson. Ms. Anderson was born into slavery but became one of the most famous singers of her time after performing at the Lincoln Memorial in 1938.