40 images of the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials and the Washington Monument on
the National Mall, including the Abraham Lincoln sculpture by Daniel Chester French.

While some of the images are displayed with Title Bars, the available images
from Washington DC were prepared without Title Bars (available upon request).

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The United States Capitol Building        The National Mall

Washington Monument, Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials

Assorted Washington DC     Arlington National Cemetery


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Jefferson Memorial at Night 2876


Jefferson Memorial at Night 2869

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial at night, taken from across the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a Neoclassical building which was based upon the Pantheon in Rome.
Designed by John Russell Pope, architect of the National Archives building, who had previously designed
a memorial to Theodore Roosevelt for this site on Tidal Basin Beach which was not funded by Congress.
The Jefferson Memorial was proposed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934 and begun when
Congress approved funding on the urging of Congressman John Boylan of New York, who was made the
Chairman of the Memorial Commission. Construction began in 1938 with intense opposition by residents
of Washington and the Commission of Fine Arts, who opposed the site because of the required removal
of many well-established cherry and elm trees, and the fact that it was not aligned with Pierre L’Enfant’s
design for the capital city. One of the last American Memorials designed in the Neoclassical Beaux-Arts
style, the Jefferson Memorial was strongly criticized by modernists who despised Classical Architecture.


Jefferson Memorial at Sunrise 2407


Jefferson Memorial at Sunrise 2418

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial at sunrise from West Potomac Park, with and without joggers.

The Jefferson Memorial is a circular building with a portico, a circular colonnade of Ionic Order columns,
and a shallow dome. Unlike the Pantheon, the dome does not have an oculus (opening at the dome apex),
but the building itself is open to the elements. It is directly south of the White House, on the opposite side
of the Potomac Tidal Basin from the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. In the interior is a
19 foot tall bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson by Rudolph Evans, which was obscured by scaffolding at
the time I took these photographs (the interior and statue were in the process of restoration). The area
around the Memorial is planted with thousands of cherry trees, a gift of the people of Japan in 1912.


Lincoln Memorial at Night 2895 16x9

The Lincoln Memorial is a Greek Doric temple designed by Henry Bacon, located on reclaimed land in
West Potomac Park directly opposite the Washington Monument. A memorial to the 16th President was
proposed after his assassination in 1865, but the original design by sculptor Clark Mills (whose foundry
cast the Statue of Freedom on the Capitol Dome from a plaster model designed by Thomas Crawford)
had 38 statues including a 12 ft. statue of Lincoln atop the 70 ft. structure and was insufficiently funded.

In the early 1900s, five separate bills were proposed which were opposed by Joseph G. Cannon, the
Republican Speaker of the House who exerted an unprecedented autocratic control over the House
due to his position as Chairman of the Rules Committee and powers to appoint all members of any
 committee and decide whether any bills would reach the floor and in what form. The sixth bill finally
passed in 1910, after a revolt of progressive Republicans and all Democrats was successful in
removing him from the Rules Committee and stripped him of his power to assign committees.


Lincoln Memorial at Night 2915 16x9

The statue of Abraham Lincoln by Daniel Chester French, framed by the Doric columns of the Lincoln Memorial.

After Congress approved funding for the memorial, construction began in 1914 of the Classical Greek Doric
 temple made of Yule marble from Colorado. It is 190 feet wide, 119 feet deep and 99 feet tall, and surrounded
by a peristyle of 36 Doric columns (44 feet tall, fluted, with plain capitals), one for each of the 36 States at the
time of Lincoln’s death. There are two extra columns behind the colonnade at the entrance in front of Lincoln.

Above the colonnade, the 36 States are inscribed on the frieze along with the dates they entered the Union
(separated by wreathed medallions). On the attic frieze above are the names of the 48 States at the time of
the dedication in 1922 (which was attended by Abraham Lincoln’s only surviving son, Robert Todd Lincoln).


Lincoln Memorial 4961

The Lincoln Memorial at mid-morning on a thinly overcast day in late June.

The columns, exterior walls and facades were slightly inclined inward toward the interior to
compensate for perspective distortion, as were ancient Greek temples. The Memorial stands
at the western end of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, the largest of the Reflecting Pools
in Washington DC, which was also designed by Henry Bacon and constructed in 1922-1923
after the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial (images of the Reflecting Pool are further below).
Alongside the steps leading up from the Reflecting Pool are two buttresses carved from pink
Tennessee marble by the Piccirilli Brothers, who also carved the Tomb of the Unknowns and
the huge statue of Abraham Lincoln by Daniel Chester French seated inside the Memorial.


Lincoln Memorial 4962

The Interior of the Memorial is divided into three chambers, divided by Ionic volute columns.
The center chamber contains the seated statue of Abraham Lincoln by Daniel Chester French.
The north and south chambers contain carved inscriptions of two of Lincoln’s famous speeches,
his Second Inaugural Address and the Gettysburg Address (by Evelyn Beatrice Longman, 1914).


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The Banner below leads to the Washington DC Collection where a Gallery can be selected.


Direct Links:

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Lincoln Daniel French 2901


Lincoln Daniel French 2824

The monumental seated statue of Abraham Lincoln by Daniel Chester French (1920). Carved from
white Georgia marble by the Piccirilli Brothers of New York from Daniel French’s plaster models, the
statue rises 30 feet over the floor. The 19 foot tall seated statue stands atop an 11 foot tall pedestal.
The image on the left was taken after midnight, and the image at right was taken in morning light.


Lincoln Daniel French 2902

The colossal seated statue of Abraham Lincoln by Daniel Chester French at the Lincoln Memorial.

The statue was originally intended to be a 12 foot bronze statue, but when Daniel French brought in
photographic enlargements of the six foot plaster model while the Memorial was under construction,
it was determined that the 12 foot sculpture would be dwarfed by the building and it was decided that
a much larger sculpture in marble was required. He commissioned the Piccirilli Brothers, with whom
 French had collaborated for 25 years, to carve the statue of Georgia marble from the Tate Quarry.


Lincoln Daniel French 4989 M


Lincoln Daniel French 4968 M

1000 x 1590 images of the seated Lincoln statue by Daniel Chester French.

The 175 ton marble statue took four years to complete and was shipped in 28 pieces. If Lincoln were
standing, the statue would be 28 feet tall. The white Georgia Marble statue rests on a pedestal made
of pink Tennessee marble, which itself lies on a large platform, also made of pink Tennessee marble.

The statue of Lincoln is seated in a U-shaped Classical chair with fasces on the arms (bundled rods, a
Roman symbol of authority) and a large flag draped over the rear of the chair, his frock coat is unbuttoned
and his hands rest in carefully arranged positions. It is sometimes said that French cast Lincoln’s hands
in the positions for A and L in American Sign Language. He was familiar with sign language as his son
was deaf, and the left hand is in a similar position to that of an A, but the right hand does not have the
index finger extended to complete the sign of L and there is no evidence that French cast the hands
in sign language. French did study Lincoln’s expressive hands, including casts made of his hands
when Lincoln was alive, but he used casts of his own fingers to achieve the intended placement.


Lincoln Daniel French 4972

Lincoln gazes out over the Reflecting Pool at the National Mall and the Washington Monument.

Daniel French studied photographs of Lincoln by Matthew Brady and a life mask as well as his hands,
and cast Lincoln’s features in a pensive, contemplative mood, which actually is better rendered at night
since the eastern light coming from the entrance washes out many of the shadows on the statue’s face.


Lincoln Gettysburg Address 4984 M

A 1000 x 1590 image of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address inscription
in the south chamber of the Lincoln Memorial. The inscription and ornamentation
(pilasters, eagles and wreaths) were created by Evelyn Beatrice Longman in 1914.
Evelyn Beatrice Longman was the first woman sculptor to be elected as a full member
of the National Academy of Design, and she was mentored by Daniel Chester French.

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is one of the best known speeches in American history.
It was given on November 19, 1863 at the dedication of the Soldier’s National Cemetery
at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania four months after the Battle of Gettysburg, which had nearly
50,000 casualties, the greatest number of the entire Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg
was a turning point in the Civil War, which ended Robert E. Lee’s invasion of the North.


Lincoln Second Inaugural 4975

The inscription of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address in the north chamber of the Lincoln Memorial.

Delivered in March 1865 near the end of the Civil War, Lincoln spoke in a profoundly sad manner
of the war and the evils of slavery, quoting passages from the Bible and paraphrasing from others.
Several of the conspirators involved with his assassination, which would occur the following month,
were present at the 2nd Inaugural Address, which was given beneath the completed Capitol Dome.
Lincoln felt that blame should be assigned to both sides of the conflict, his plan for Reconstruction
of the South intended for the country to move forward “with malice toward none, with charity for all”.


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Washington Monument Potomac 2841


Washington Monument Potomac 2844

The Washington Monument flashing its warning lights from across the Tidal Basin
at night, taken from the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in West Potomac Park.


Washington Monument Potomac 2842 M

A 1200 x 1590 image of the Washington Monument rising above the Potomac Tidal Basin at night.

The Washington Monument is a 555 foot tall obelisk of marble, granite and bluestone gneiss on the
National Mall, due east of the Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting Pool and the World War II Memorial.
It is both the world’s tallest stone structure and the world’s tallest obelisk (when it was completed in
1884, it was the world’s tallest building). Designed by Robert Mills in 1836 as a circular colonnade,
100 feet tall and 250 feet in diameter, with George Washington driving a four-horse chariot on top.
Rising out of the center of the colonnade would be a 500 foot tall flat-topped obelisk, and inside
the colonnade would be statues of 30 prominent Revolutionary War heroes. This design was
widely criticized, and its estimated cost of $1 million (over $500 million today) caused the
Washington Monument Society to decide to build the obelisk first without the colonnade.


Washington Monument Lincoln Pool 2897


Washington Monument Lincoln Pool 2899

The Washington Monument at night, seen from the edge of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.

The Lincoln Reflecting Pool, designed by Henry Bacon, is over 2000 feet long and 167 feet wide.
Constructed from 1922-23 after the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial, it is 18 to 30 inches deep.
It has been the site of many historic events, such as Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.


Washington Monument Lincoln Pool 2898 M


Washington Monument Lincoln Pool 2900 M

1200 x 1590 crops of images of the Washington Monument at night and the Lincoln Reflecting Pool.

The construction of the Washington Monument was halted in 1854 when funds ran out. The Monument
Society came up with a new policy for states and territories to donate stones, and in 1855, Congress
appropriated funds for construction to continue. Marble, granite and sandstone blocks were donated by
businesses, professional organizations, American Indian tribes, societies and foreign nations. Many of
 these stones had inscriptions which did not commemorate George Washington. One stone in particular
started a controversy which caused Congress to rescind their appropriation and stop the construction.

Pope Pius IX contributed a block of black marble from the Temple of Concord in the Roman Forum to
the Monument Society. For over a year before it arrived, the stone had been the focus of anti-immigrant
hatred, specifically targeting Irish and German Catholic immigration and a supposed plot by the Pope to
start a Catholic uprising and take over America. in March 1854, a group of men from the anti-immigrant
movement called the Know-Nothings broke into the guarded shed containing the stones and stole the
Pope’s stone, either throwing it into the Potomac or breaking it up for souvenirs. The Know-Nothings
then arranged to hold a fraudulent election of their own monument construction society, took control
of the existing Monument Society, and confiscated all records from the existing society. Congress
was appalled at their acts, and worried that the Know-Nothings would take control over donations
 for the monument, they rescinded their appropriation and construction stopped for over 24 years.


Washington Monument Capitol Pool 2892


Washington Monument Capitol Pool 5251

The Washington Monument from the Capitol Reflecting Pool.

When Congress refused to fund the monument while the Know-Nothings were in control, donations dwindled.
The Know-Nothings held control over the Monument Society until 1858, and  the 13 courses of stone that they
added were of such poor quality that they were later removed. The unfinished 156 foot stub of the obelisk was
described by Mark Twain in 1868 as an ungainly old sugar-mill chimney, and it remained in this condition until
in 1876, motivated by the Centennial Celebration, Congress appropriated funds to complete the construction
and the plan for a surrounding colonnade was abandoned. The base of the obelisk was reinforced, the height
was increased to 555 feet, 5.125 inches so that its height would be 10 times the width of the base (to match
classical Egyptian proportions), and the final 50 feet were redesigned to terminate the obelisk in a pyramid.


Washington Monument Capitol Pool 5240 16x9

A jet approaching Reagan Airport passes behind the Washington Monument, from the Capitol Reflecting Pool.


Washington Monument Capitol Pool 5248

The Washington Monument rises over the National Mall, from the Capitol Reflecting Pool.

When construction resumed in 1879 under the direction of the Army Corps of Engineers,
Lt. Col. Thomas Lincoln Casey redesigned the foundation so that it could support the final
weight of nearly 91,000 tons. He decided to mount the commemorative stones on the inside
walls of the monument. Due to a construction hiatus of nearly 25 years, Casey was unable to
find the same stone used for the first 152 feet of the monument, so the upper section of the
obelisk is of slightly darker stone. The monument was completed in only four more years
and atop the capstone is an aluminum pyramid that served as the original lightning rod.


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Washington Monument Lincoln Pool 2813

The Washington Monument and Lincoln Reflecting Pool from
the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, before the construction of
the World War II Memorial at the end of the Reflecting Pool.


Washington Monument Lincoln Pool 4991

The Washington Monument and Lincoln Reflecting Pool (with the Capitol Dome in the distance), taken in the
early morning after the construction of the World War II Memorial (which can be seen on the National Mall page).

The aluminum pyramid atop the monument may be of interest. Lt. Colonel Casey contacted William Frishmuth of
Philadelphia, the only US producer of aluminum at that time, and requested a metal pyramid to serve as a lightning
rod atop the monument. Preferred metals were copper, bronze or brass, plated with platinum. Frishmuth proposed
a pyramid of aluminum (which at the time was as valuable as silver). When Casey agreed to the proposal, and the
casting was begun. Frishmuth soon discovered that he could not use an ordinary sand mold, and had an iron mold
made. After two weeks, he succeeded in making what was at that time the largest casting of aluminum, and sent
a message to Casey informing him of his success. When he submitted his bill for $256, Casey dispatched his
assistant to investigate why it cost so much more than the initial estimate of $75, and ended up paying $225.

Only five years before Frishmuth’s 1884 casting, nobody knew how to cast aluminum. The pyramidion would
be the largest single casting attempted. At the time, filtering or degassing procedures for aluminum were
unknown, and dissolved gas in aluminum castings caused noticeable surface imperfections. Frishmuth’s
techniques led to a casting quality which was far superior to work being done even 30 years later. Two
years after the completion of the pyramidion, chemical and electrical methods of extracting aluminum
were discovered, and the cost of producing aluminum plummeted. The 100 ounce aluminum pyramid
was once the most valuable single piece of aluminum in the world. A few years later it had little value.


Washington Monument at Dawn 2434

In the above image of the Washington Monument at dawn, it is easy to see the
line at the 152 foot mark, where the original construction was halted and above
which stones from a different quarry were used when the construction resumed.


Washington Monument at Dawn 2444


Washington Monument at Dawn 5026

The Washington Monument rising above foliage on Independence Avenue at dawn.


Washington Monument 2457

The path leading up the hill to the Washington Monument from 15th Street Southwest.


Washington Monument 5310


Washington Monument 2448


Washington Monument 2772


Washington Monument 2781

At the time it was completed, the Washington Monument was the tallest building in the world. It retained this
title between 1884 and 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was completed at the entrance to the World’s Fair in Paris.
The Eiffel Tower at 1063 feet remained the tallest structure until the Crysler building was completed in 1930.
The Washington Monument at 555 feet is still the world’s largest stone structure and the largest obelisk, but
it is made of thousands of blocks of stone (Egyptian obelisks were monolithic blocks of 100 feet or less).


Washington Monument 2784

The Washington Monument rising over the trees at the edge of the Potomac Tidal Basin, where it protrudes into the south edge of the National Mall near the World War II Memorial.


Washington Monument 5304

The Washington Monument, with the Lincoln Memorial in the distance at the lower left corner, as seen from the approach on Jefferson Drive just before it crosses 14th Street SW.

In August 2011, a rare 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit the area, cracking stones near the top of the monument.
Further damage was caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011. The Washington Monument was encased in a rather
innovative floating scaffold to allow repairs to be made to the stone. The scaffolding, originally designed by the
New York architect Michael Graves for the 1998-2001 restoration project, was reused for these later repairs.


Washington Monument 5312


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