21022 Lincoln Memorial


  • Location: West end of the National Mall, Washington, D.C.
  • Architect: Henry Bacon
  • Style: Beaux-Arts
  • Materials: Exterior: Colorado Yule marble, Tennessee pink marble, Massachusetts granite. Interior:  Indiana limestone, Georgia white marble, Tennessee pink marble, Alabama marble, bronze, brass
  • Measurements: 59m by 36m (189.7 feet x 118.5 feet) 
  • Year: 1914 - 1922
  • Cost: $2,957,000


The campaign to erect a fitting memorial for Abraham Lincoln began even as he lay on his deathbed in 1865. It would eventually be completed 57 years later, after decades of disagreements over what type of monument to build and where it should be placed.

The memorial itself echoes a classic Greek temple and the structure measures 189.7 by 118.5 ft. (58 by 36 m) and is 99 ft. (30 m) tall. It is surrounded by a colonnade of 36 fluted Doric columns, one for each of the 36 states in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death.

The interior of the monument is divided into three chambers. The north and south chambers contain carved inscriptions of Lincoln’s second inaugural address and his Gettysburg Address. Above each of the inscriptions is a mural portraying the governing principles in Lincoln’s life.

Between the north and south chambers is the central chamber containing the solitary figure of Lincoln sitting in contemplation.


Henry Bacon (1866–1924)
Henry Bacon was a New York–based architect who had traveled widely in Europe and was especially fond of ancient Greek architecture. His inspiration for the Lincoln Memorial is the Athenian temple known as the Parthenon. Bacon instinctively understood the symbolic role of the memorial in reunifying a country torn apart by civil war and deliberately chose building materials from as many states as possible.

Daniel Chester French (1850–1931)
Daniel Chester French was the leading American sculptor of his day and his most famous work is the statue of Lincoln, which dominates the interior of the memorial. The sculpture took four years to complete, weighs 175 tons (159 metric tons), and is carved from 28 separate blocks of white Georgia marble.

Jules Guerin (1866–1946)
Jules Guerin was selected to decorate the interior of the memorial with two canvas murals 60 ft. (18.3 m) long by 12 ft. (3.7 m) high. Together, the murals visually symbolize the principles of Abraham Lincoln and emphasize his two great accomplishments — emancipation and unity.

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