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Jefferson Memorial Washington Dc

Jefferson Memorial Washington Dc (Known places)

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Tags: washington (28 pics), memorial (14 pics)

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial in Washington, D.C. that is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, an American Founding Father and the third president of the United States. The neoclassical building was designed by John Russell Pope. It was built by Philadelphia contractor John McShain. Construction began in 1939 (80 years ago), the building was completed in 1943 (76 years ago), and the bronze statue of Jefferson was added in 1947 (72 years ago). When completed, the memorial occupied one of the last significant sites left in the city.

Composed of circular marble steps, a portico, a circular colonnade of Ionic order columns, and a shallow dome, the building is open to the elements. Pope made references to the Roman Pantheon and Jefferson's own design for the Rotunda at the University of Virginia. It is situated in West Potomac Park, on the shore of the Tidal Basin of the Potomac River. The Jefferson Memorial, and the White House located directly north, form one of the main anchor points in the area of the National Mall in D.C. The Washington Monument, just east of the axis on the national Mall, was intended to be located at the intersection of the White House and the site for the Jefferson Memorial to the south, but soft swampy ground which defied nineteenth century engineering required it be sited to the east. The Jefferson Memorial is managed by the National Park Service under its National Mall and Memorial Parks division. In 2007 (12 years ago), it was ranked fourth on the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.

History

The current site of the Memorial was originally created using landfill dredged from the Potomac River in the late 1800 (219 years ago). It became a popular bathing beach for Washingtonians and other locals.

It became apparent that the site was well suited for another high-profile memorial since it sat directly south of the White House. By 1901 (118 years ago) the Senate Park Commission, better known as the McMillan Commission, had proposed placing a pantheon-like structure on the site hosting "the statues of the illustrious men of the nation, or whether the memory of some individual shall be honored by a monument of the first rank may be left to the future"; no action was ever taken by Congress on this issue.

A design competition was held for a memorial to Theodore Roosevelt in 1925 (94 years ago). The winning design was submitted by John Russell Pope and consisted of a half-circle memorial situated next to a circular basin. The plan was never funded by Congress and was not built.

The Memorial's chance came in 1934 (85 years ago) when President Franklin Roosevelt, an admirer of Jefferson himself, asked the Commission of Fine Arts about the possibility of erecting a memorial to Jefferson, including it in the plans for the Federal Triangle project, which was under construction at the time. Later the same year, Congressman John J. Boylan jumped off FDR's starting point and urged Congress to create the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission. Boylan was appointed the Commission's first chairman. Congress eventually appropriated $3 million for a memorial to Jefferson.

The Commission chose John Russell Pope as the architect in 1935 (84 years ago). Pope was also the architect of the National Archives Building and original (west) building of the National Gallery of Art. He prepared four different plans for the project, each on a different site. One was on the Anacostia River at the end of East Capitol Street; one at Lincoln Park; one on the south side of the National Mall across from the National Archives; and one situated on the Tidal Basin, directly south of the White House. The Commission preferred the site on the Tidal Basin mainly because it was the most prominent site and because it completed the four-point plan called for by the McMillan Commission (Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol; White House to the Tidal Basin site). Pope designed a very large pantheon-like structure, to sit on a square platform, and to be flanked by two smaller, rectangular, colonnaded buildings.

British-born author, journalist, and literary critic Christopher Hitchens, an ardent admirer of Jefferson, became a United States citizen on the steps of the mural on his fifty-eighth birthday, Apr. 13, 2007 (12 years ago).


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