Appreciating all that makes America special

Architecture: The Lincoln Memorial


Construction on the Lincoln Memorial began in 1914. Robert Todd Lincoln, the President's son, was present for the dedication in 1922 at the age of 79. Uploaded by

Several wonderful monuments dot Washington, DC to honor past presidents and veterans of our foreign wars. But none are as inspiring, as beautiful, and as beloved as The Lincoln Memorial on the Mall.

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Architect Henry Bacon designed the memorial, and Daniel Chester French created the immense sculpture of Abraham Lincoln. Oddly, some people during the planning stages thought the design too gaudy for the simple Lincoln; some even thought it should be a log cabin. Fortunately, the design we now see won the day, and it’s considered one of America’s architectural masterpieces. It’s ranked seventh on the list of America’s Favorite Architecture as chosen in a survey by the American Institute of Architects.

Construction on the Memorial began in 1914, and it was dedicated in 1922. Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln, then 79 years old, attended the ceremony. The steps leading up to the Memorial have been the scene of many historic events, including Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech in 1963. Today, some 3.6 million people visit the site annually, and it’s not at all unusual to see tears in their eyes as they take in the moment.


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One Comment

  1. I was just recently at the Lincoln Memorial and the effect of the architecture alone is almost as powerful as I could have imagined Lincoln’s presence to be. It’s greatness seems to symbolize his presidency rather than his simpleness as a man. Reading the speeches on the side gave me the chills. If the words simply being read have that power, imagine actually hearing the speech! While I was there I got to see the Israeli prime minister who was visiting at the same time! Check it out on my blog if your interested.