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Lincoln Memorial
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Lincoln Memorial
Description - The architecture of the Lincoln Memorial is based after a Greek Temple. It has 36 Doric columns, one for each state at the time of Lincoln's death. A sculpture by Daniel Chester French of a seated Lincoln is in the center of the memorial chamber.

The Gettysburg Address is inscribed on the south wall of the monument. Above it is a mural painted by Jules Guerin depicting the angel of truth freeing a slave. Guerin also painted the unity of North and South mural on the north wall. Etched into the north wall below the mural is Lincoln's second inaugural speech.

Attractions - This classical structure of great beauty contains a marble seated statue 19 feet high of the Great Emancipator by sculptor Daniel Chester French. Architect of the building was Henry Bacon.

The Lincoln Memorial is a tribute to President Abraham Lincoln and the nation he fought to preserve during the Civil War (1861-1865). The nation's bloodiest conflict, the Civil War, which followed the secession of southern states, was the supreme test of the durability of the Union created by the founding fathers.

Lincoln's stewardship of the Union cause contributed to the final victory of the Union and the abolishment of slavery in the United States. These victories earned him the sobriquets of "Savior of the Union." Lincoln was assassinated while attending a play at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. For many he then became a martyr to the causes of union and emancipation.

In 1911, Congress authorized the building of the Lincoln Memorial on the undeveloped west end of the Mall. Construction took place between 1914 and 1922. President Warren G. Harding attended the 1922 dedication. In 1933, the Lincoln Memorial was transferred to the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.

Architect Henry Bacon modeled his design for the building after the Greek Parthenon. Built into the design are symbols of Union like the 36 exterior Doric columns representing the 36 states in the Union at the time of Lincoln's death--the Union he had fought to preserve. Those states are listed on the frieze above the columns. Above those states are listed the 48 states in the Union when the memorial was built, making the memorial a tribute to the Union as much as a tribute to Lincoln himself. Alaska and Hawaii are represented with a plaque on the front steps.

The exterior is made of Colorado Yule marble with a walkway made of Massachusetts granite and Potomac River stones. The interior walls and columns are Indiana limestone, the floor Tennessee Pink marble, and the ceiling is made of panels of Alabama marble soaked in paraffin to make them translucent.

Dominating the interior is Daniel Chester French's Lincoln statue along with allegorical murals by Jules Guerin, and carved inscriptions of two of Lincoln's most important speeches.

Recreation - Park rangers present several interpretive programs and talks throughout the year. They provide 10 and 30 minute talks at each of the sites and during the summer months provide 2 hour walking tours about the history of the National Mall and other related themes.

The memorials and monuments on the National Mall are opened daily from 8:00 AM until 11:45 PM every day except Christmas Day.

Restrooms are located below the Memorial.

Climate - Washington, D.C. experiences four distinct seasons. Winters can be bitterly cold or pleasantly mild while summers can be miserably hot and humid or agreeably warm. The average January temperature is 37 degrees F (3 degrees C). The average July temperature is 78 degrees F (26 degrees C). Spring and fall are pleasant times of the year to visit the area, temperatures are mild with low humidity.

Location - Interstates 66 and 395 provide access to the Mall from the south. Interstate 495, New York Avenue, Rock Creek Parkway, George Washington Memorial Parkway, and the Cabin John Parkway provide access from the north. Interstate 66, Route 50 and 29 provide access from the west. Routes 50, 1, and 4 provide access from the east.

There are several metro train routes from the suburban areas surrounding the city. The Smithsonian Metro stop comes out on the National Mall.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Lincoln Memorial, c/o National Capital Parks - Central, 900 Ohio Drive SW , Washington, DC, 20024-2000, Phone: 202-426-6841, Fax: 202-426-1844
, National_Mall@nps.gov

Additional Information:
District of Columbia Memorials and Monuments -

Lincoln Memorial - Official agency website.


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