Lincoln Memorial is a national monument of America. It was built to honor Abraham Lincoln, the 16th US President. Located in Washington D.C.’s National Mall, it is one of the main tourist destinations for people around the world. The memorial is built on Greek Doric temple style. Along with the statue of Lincoln, this building also houses two popular speeches given by him: ‘Second Inaugural Address’ and ‘The Gettysburg Address’. It is also home to the famous speech of Martin Luther King, ‘I have a dream’ in August 1963. The Lincoln statue was carved out by Piccirilli Brothers. It is made up of 28 blocks of white Georgia marble. It ranks seventh on the List of America’s Favorite Architecture. About 6 million tourists drop by this memorial every year.
Designer: Daniel Chester French
Architect: Henry Bacon
Painter: Jules Guerin
Statue of Lincoln
- It weighs 170 tons.
- Its height from the ground is 9.1 metres (30 feet).
- The size of seated figure of Lincoln is 5.8 metres (19 feet).
- The height of pedestal upon which Lincoln is seated is 3.4 metres (11 feet).
- A flag of United States is draped at the back of the chair.
- The statue was finished in 4 years.
- If the statue of Lincoln had been standing, it would stand 8.5 metres (28 feet) tall.
- The width and height of the statue are equal.
- The white marble was shipped separately in 28 pieces.
IN THIS TEMPLE
AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE UNION
THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
IS ENSHRINED FOREVER – epitaph by Royal Cortissoz above Lincoln’s statue
- The first statue of Lincoln was built in 1868 by Irish artist Lot Flannery. It is also made up of marble and located at the front of old District of Colombia City Hall.
- In 1867, the Congress passed the first bill and a US sculptor Clark Mills was assigned the duty for the design of monument. He intended to build a structure of 21 metres (70 feet), 31 pedestrian statues and the statue of Lincoln with the size of 3.7 metres (12 feet). But the sufficient funds for the project could not be collected.
- The Congress approved the construction of memorial on its sixth bill which was passed on 13 December 1910.
- At first, some people raised doubts about the architectures built by Henry Bacon. They thought the Greek temple built by him was flamboyant and do not fit in with the personality of Abraham Lincoln. Therefore, they proposed to build a simple shrine made up of log cabin.
- In McMillan Plan of 1901, the Potomac Park location was suggested and so the commission also recommended the same site for the monument. This commission was headed by William H. Taft, the 27th US President.
- The congress approved the funds of $300,000 for the project.
- The original size of the Lincoln’s statue was 3 metres (10 feet) but it was extended to 19 feet.
- On 30 May 1922, the Chief Justice of United States (William H. Taft) presented it to Warren G. Harding. At the ceremony, the son of Abraham Lincoln Robert Todd Lincoln was also present who was 78 years old at the time.
- On 15 October 1966, it was listed on National Register of Historic Places.
- It was closed down on 26 July 2013 when green paint was thrown at the legs of a statue. However it was opened again the same day.
- The size of memorial is 189.7 by 118.5 feet.
- Its height is 30 metres (99 feet).
- When Lincoln passed away, there were 36 states in the Union and so 36 fluted Doric columns were constructed for that reason.
- Each column is 13 metres (44 feet) high.
- The diameter at the base of the column is 2.3 metres (7.5 feet)
- This Lincoln Memorial was depicted on one cent coin of the USA from 1959 until 2008. At the back of United States five-dollar bill, this memorial is depicted. The statue of Abraham Lincoln is also visible.
- There are three chambers at the interior of memorial.
- The names of the Union’s 36 states along with their entry dates were inscribed on frieze of memorial.
- The width of the area where statue is situated is 60 feet. Its length is 74 feet.
- There are four columns in every row with the height of 15 metres (50 feet).
- The statue was lighted properly in 1929.
- The only alteration took place was in 1970s when the elevator was installed for the handicapped.