The Lincoln Memorial: Construction & Dedication Photographs

 March 20, 2009: Barry Cauchon
The Lincoln Memorial built between 1914 and 1922.

The Lincoln Memorial built between 1914 and 1922.

Washington DC hosts many monuments built in tribute to some of the country’s greatest leaders. The Lincoln Memorial is one such structure. The National Park Service administers the memorial and I have reprinted the brief history they post on their website at http://www.nps.gov/history/Nr/travel/wash/dc71.htm.

Once you have read this, scroll down to see some images of approved conceptual drawings, photographs of the memorial and surrounding grounds under construction and the May 30, 1922 Dedication Ceremonies. Enjoy.

LINCOLN MEMORIAL (reprinted from the National Park Service website)

The Lincoln Memorial stands at the west end of the National Mall as a neoclassical monument to the 16th President. The memorial, designed by Henry Bacon, after ancient Greek temples, stands 190 feet long, 119 feet wide, and almost 100 feet high. It is surrounded by a peristyle of 38 fluted Doric columns, one for each of the thirty six states in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death, and two columns in-antis at the entrance behind the colonnade. The north and south side chambers contain carved inscriptions of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and his Gettysburg Address. Lying between the north and south chambers is the central hall containing the solitary figure of Lincoln sitting in contemplation. The statue was carved in four years by the Piccirilli brothers under the supervision of the sculptor, Daniel Chester French. The statue of Lincoln is 19 feet high and weighs 175 tons. The original plan was for the statue to be only ten feet high, but this was changed so that the figure of Lincoln would not be dwarfed by the size of the chamber. A commission to plan a monument was first proposed in 1867, shortly after Lincoln’s death. The design for that plan called for six equestrian and 31 pedestrian statues of colossal size, with a 12-foot statue of Lincoln in the center. That project was never started for lack of funds. Congress approved the bill to construct this memorial in 1910. Construction began in 1914, and the memorial was opened to the public in 1922. The Memorial is visited by millions of visitors each year and is the site of many large public gatherings and protests. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to a crowd by the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 . Damaged over the years by heavy visitation and environmental factors, the Lincoln Memorial is currently undergoing a major restoration.

CONCEPTUAL DRAWINGS

Conceptual drawing from the approved proposal for the Lincoln Memorial

A conceptual drawing from architect Henry Bacon's approved proposal for the Lincoln Memorial

Approved 1/8" scale drawing of the Lincoln statue from late November, 1921

Statue sculptor Daniel Chester French's approved 1/8" scale drawing of the 19'-0" high statue of Lincoln from late November, 1917

.
————————————————————————————————-
CONSTRUCTION OF THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL AND SURROUNDING GROUNDS
 
On February 12, 1914 the Ground Breaking Ceremony took place. Within a year of that event, the foundation and base structure were quickly taking form.
Construction moving along in January, 1915.

The foundation construction moving along in January, 1915.

Another view of the foundation construction from January 1915.

Another view of the foundation construction from January 1915.

One year after the Ground Breaking ceremonies, the foundation was ready to receive the first cornerstone of the memorial. It was laid in place on Lincoln’s birthday February 12, 1915.

Laying the cornerstone for the Lincoln Memorial on Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1915.

Laying the cornerstone for the Lincoln Memorial on Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1915.

The next step was to build the cella (inner chamber of the memorial). This began to take shape by early 1916. It still did not have its now recognizable marble colonnade surrounding it. 
 
By late 1916-17 the Doric colonnade and outer structure began to appear. When completed, the final size of the Memorial would be 201 feet 10 inches wide x 132 feet deep x 79 feet 10 inches high above the foundation.
 
The colonnade and roof structure being constructed (c1916-17).

The colonnade and roof structure being constructed (c1916-17). The Washington Monument can be seen at lower left.

 
Thirty-six fluted columns (each representing a state in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death) plus two at the entrance each measure 7 feet 5 inches in diameter. The height of each column from floor to ceiling is 44 feet. Each column has 20 flutes.
 
fdasf

The foundation of the Lincoln Memorial carries an estimated weight of about 38,000 tons of granite and marble. The colonnade and frieze are being worked on in this photo.

asdfas

The large cranes have now been removed as the roof is now completed. Work on the outer structure still continues.

 

The main cranes which towered over the structure were removed once the roof was completed.
 
sdfsdg

The carvings on the exterior of the Lincoln Memorial were done by Washington D.C. sculptor, Ernest C. Bairstow. These carvings included eagles, festoons, wreathes and the states.

Carving on the frieze by architectural sculptor dkfl

A close up of a carving on the frieze by architectural sculptor Ernest C. Bairstow.

Where Henry Bacon was the architect who designed the Lincoln Memorial, several sculptors and artists were responsible for the statues and carvings found throughout the building.  Ernest C. Bairstow was a Washington D.C. architectural sculptor who was brought on to do the exterior carvings which included eagles, states, festoons and wreathes. He also did the carved letters on the interior.

Daniel Chester French from Massachusetts was the sculptor who designed the 19 foot seated statue of Abraham Lincoln inside the Memorial. He, along with the Piccirilli Brother studio from Brooklyn, NY created the Lincoln statue from 28 blocks of white Georgia marble.
The Piccirilli family and Daniel Chester French work on the assembly of the Lincoln statue.

The Piccirilli family and Daniel Chester French work on the assembly of the Lincoln statue.

Royal Cotissoz was the New York Herald Tribune art critic who wrote the copy carved behind and above the Lincoln statue. The words read “In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.” The carving of the words for this, and the Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address on the flanking walls were carved by Ernest C. Bairstow.
Evelyn Beatrice Longman was a student of Daniel Chester French and was responsible for the interior decorative carvings surrounding the Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address.
Two large canvas murals grace the walls of the interior. The themes are Emancipation and Unity. These were done by Jules Guerin. Each are 60 feet long x 12 feet high and weight about 600 lbs.
The completed statue of Lincoln (c1943) with the Cotissoz inscription above. The inscription was carved by Ernest C. Bairstow.

The completed statue of Lincoln (c1943) with Mr. Royal Cotissoz's inscription above. The inscription was carved by Ernest C. Bairstow.

 The grounds of the Lincoln Memorial slowly  took shape. The Reflecting Pool does not exist as of yet.
sdfad

Construction on the marshlands dedicated for the Lincoln Memorial slowly take shape. The Reflecting Pool doesn't exist at this point and the area is used to hold materials and construction sheds.

Work well underway on the steps and surrounding exterior elements on the site.

Work well underway on the steps and surrounding exterior elements on the site. The steps lead down to the Reflecting Pool which currently hasn't been built yet.

The Reflecting Pool was ready on the day of the Dedication Ceremonies on May 30, 1922.

The Reflecting Pool

————————————————————————————————–

 
THE DEDICATION CEREMONIES – MAY 30, 1922
 
The Dedication Ceremonies for the Lincoln Memorial were held on Tuesday, May 30, 1922. To begin, Dr. Robert Moton presented the keynote address. Dr. Moton was the second president of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama who had succeeded Booker T. Washington as president of the institute. Chief Justice William Howard Taft officially turned over the memorial to President Warren Harding who received it on behalf of the people of the United States.  President Harding then spoke to the crowd. To conclude the ceremonies, Poet Edwin Markham read a revised version of his poem “Lincoln the Man of the People” . Robert Lincoln, who did not speak on this occasion, was a special guest and received a loud ovation from the crowd upon his arrival.
In attendance, but also not presenting were Vice President Calvin Coolidge (who would later become the 30th President of the United States), and Alice Roosevelt Longworth (Theodore Roosevelt’s eldest daughter). 
The crowd gathered for the Lincoln Memorial Dedication Ceremonies on May 30, 1922.

The crowd gathered for the Lincoln Memorial Dedication Ceremonies on May 30, 1922.

 
Special guest Robert Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln's eldest son) arrives at the Dedication Ceremonies.

Special guest Robert Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln's eldest son) arrives at the Dedication Ceremonies. The crowd gave him a loud ovation.

Chief Justice William H. Taft (former President), President Harding and Robert Lincoln

Chief Justice (and former President) William H. Taft, President Warren Harding and Robert Todd Lincoln.

Robert Lincoln took an active interest in the Lincoln Memorial while under construction. He often had his driver pass by to view it. On at least one occasion he obtained permission to enter the building during construction.

Robert Lincoln took an active interest in the Lincoln Memorial while under construction. He often had his driver pass by to view it. On at least one occasion he obtained permission to enter the building during construction.

A view of the proceedings from the side of the Reflecting Pool.

A view of the proceedings from the side of the Reflecting Pool.

dfasdfd

Chief Justice Taft officially turns over the Lincoln Memorial to President Warren Harding who receives it on behalf of the people of the United States. Robert Lincoln looks on (seated lower left).

 
sdfasdfg

President Harding overlooks the crowd surrounding the Reflecting Pool.

ghsdfsdgh

The presenters are dwarfed by the Lincoln Memorial's massive marble columns.

Poet Edwin Markham reads a verse to the crowd at the Dedication Celebration. Behind him sits Vice President Calvin Coolidge, President Warren Harding and Chief Justice William Howard Taft.

Poet Edwin Markham reads a verse from his revised poem "Lincoln the Man of the People" to conclude the Dedication Ceremonies. Behind him sits Vice President Calvin Coolidge, President Warren Harding and Chief Justice William Howard Taft.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth (daughter of Teddy Roosevelt)(right) departs at the conclusion of the ceremonies.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth (daughter of Teddy Roosevelt)(right) departs at the conclusion of the ceremonies.

Best

Advertisements

DID YOU KNOW (Part 14) ABRAHAM LINCOLN

1. Did you know … that Abraham Lincoln was ripped, buff and a very muscular stud muffin! It’s true. Considering his height and posture, one would think this was not the case. However, based on observations by Gideon Welles, the Secretary of the Navy, who spent the last hours with the mortally injured President at the Peterson House …

Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy

“The giant sufferer lay extended diagonally across the bed, which was not long enough for him. He had been stripped of his clothes. His large arms, which were occasionally exposed, were of a size which one would scarce have expected from his spare appearance….”.

2. Did you know … that Robert Lincoln, who died in 1926, was not buried with Abraham Lincoln, his mother, and three brothers. Instead he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”         

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008)

.

“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008)

 

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008)

 

 —————————————————————-

DID YOU KNOW (Part 8) ABRAHAM LINCOLN

1. Did you know … that Abraham Lincoln never traveled to a foreign country. He spent his entire life in the United States. There is no record of him ever entering Canada or Mexico. Nor did he ever travel abroad. However, on the night of his assassination, he mentioned to his wife Mary that he would like to one day visit Jerusalem.

2. Did you know … that fifteen people turned down President Lincoln’s invitation to join him and Mary at Ford’s Theatre on the night of his assassination, April 14, 1865? One reason is that it was Good Friday of the Easter weekend so many of them could have had other plans, as they claimed. But when you consider that fifteen people turned down the President of the United States to spend the evening with him, it does make you wonder.

The fifteen that turned down the Lincoln’s were, (in no particular order): Mr. & Mrs. Edwin Stanton, General & Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, William A. Howard, General Isham N. Haynie, Richard J. Olgesby, Richard Yates, Noah Brooks, Thomas Eckert, George Ashmun, Schuyler Colfax, Mr. & Mrs. William H. Wallace & Robert Lincoln.

What reasons did they have? Here are the reasons given by each participant.

1 & 2. Edwin Stanton was Lincoln’s Secretary of War. Mrs. Stanton did not like Mary Todd Lincoln and this is believed to be the reason they turned down the invitation.

3 & 4. Mr. & Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant told the President that they were catching a train to New Jersey to visit their children for the weekend. The real belief was that, like Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Grant did not like Mary Todd Lincoln and had no intention of spending an evening with her.

5. William A. Howard, was the Postmaster of Detroit. He told Mr. Lincoln that the he was headed out of town later that day.

6, 7 & 8. General Isham N. Haynie (a visitor from Illinois), Richard J. Olgesby (Governor of Illinois) & Richard Yates (ex-Governor of Illinois) all claimed to be meeting friends that night.

9. Noah Brooks was a reporter who turned down the Lincoln’s because he was suffering from a cold.

10. Thomas Eckert was a telegraph operator at the War Department. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton told Eckert that he could not go because he had too much work to do.

11. George Ashmun of Massachusetts had presided over the 1860 Republican Convention (where Lincoln was nominated for President) explained to Mr. Lincoln that he had a previous engagement.

12. Shuyler Colfax, the Speaker of the House of Representatives was traveling to the Pacific Coast the following morning so declined the evening out.

13 & 14. Mr. & Mrs. William H. Wallace, the Governor of Idaho territories, claimed to be too tired to attend the play that evening.

15. Robert Lincoln, the President’s eldest son, turned them down because he had just returned from a tour of duty with General Grant. He was tired and just wanted to go to bed.

———–

So, for whatever reasons these fifteen people had that day, there is no telling if any of them would have been able to save the President from his fate that night. We can just never know.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”         

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008)

.

“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008)

 

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008)

 

 —————————————————————-

Published in: on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at '9:10 pm'  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

DID YOU KNOW (Part 7) ABRAHAM LINCOLN

 

1. Did you know … that the former First Lady, Mary Todd Lincoln, was committed to an insane asylum in 1875. And the person who arranged it all was her only surviving son, Robert Lincoln!  Sadly, it’s true.

According to Wikipedia …
“For Mary Todd Lincoln, the death of her son Thomas (Tad), in July 1871, led to an overpowering sense of grief and the gradual onset of
depression. Mrs. Lincoln’s sole surviving son, Robert T. Lincoln, a rising young Chicago lawyer, was alarmed by his mother’s free spending of money in ways that did not give her any lasting happiness. Due to what he considered to be her increasingly eccentric behavior, Robert exercised his rights as Mrs. Lincoln’s closest male relative and had the widow deprived of custody of her own person and affairs. In 1875, Mary Todd Lincoln was committed by an Illinois court to Bellevue Place, an insane asylum in Batavia, Illinois. There Mrs. Lincoln was not closely confined; she was free to walk about the building and its immediate grounds, and was released three months later. However, Mary Todd Lincoln never forgave her eldest son for what she regarded as his betrayal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Todd_Lincoln

If Mary Todd Lincoln interests you, please read an interview I did with a Mary Todd Lincoln researcher and performer, Laura Frances Keyes.

2. Did you know … that Tad Lincoln (the President’s youngest son) was at another theatre the night his father was shot. Tad was attending a performance of “Aladdin or the Wonderful Lamp” at Grover’s Theatre. He was in the company of his tutor, who had the news of the shooting whispered to him. The tutor hurried Tad out of the theatre and took him back home to the White House. Contrary to popular belief, Tad was never taken to the Peterson House where his father lay dying. However, his older brother Robert went there and tried to comfort his mother during the long night.

Tad and Abraham Lincoln taken by Alexander Gardner on February 5, 1865.

——————————————————–

To read an interview with researcher and Mary Todd Lincoln performer, please click on the link below.Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”         

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008)

.

 

“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008)

 

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008)

—————————————————————–