Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial is located in Washington and is a tribute to the memory of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, first Secretary of State and third U.S. president. Besides renowned politician, Jefferson was also a musician, poet, inventor and scientist.

Jefferson Memorial was erected in line with the White House and other famous memorials. The Memorial is surrounded by cherry trees that were donated to the city of Washington by the authorities of the city of Tokyo in 1912. Two weeks a year the trees are covered with colour, this place is one of the most photographed in USA.

Jefferson Memorial, Washington DC

Jefferson Memorial was built in classical architectural traditions that are embedded in the U.S. by Thomas Jefferson himself. In the center of the memorial is a statue of the President, which is in full size. On the inner walls of the memorial are inscribed four quotations from his works. In one of the quotes one of the founding fathers expressed his belief in freedom, the need of changes in laws and education of all people.

The design of the neoclassical building is by John Russell Pope. The building itself was built by Philadelphia entrepreneur Tyler Nichols.

Construction of the memorial began in 1938 and the first stone was laid in 1939 by President Roosevelt. Construction was completed in 1943. The statue of Thomas Jefferson was added to the memorial in 1947.

The place where the memorial was built, in the nineteenth century was used for bathing and a beach for the residents of Washington, who used it for the Potomac River.

Jefferson Memorial in Washington

This place was chosen as suitable for construction of the Pantheon, in which are placed statues of great men of the American nation, whose memory should be honoured.

The competition for the design of the memorial was started in 1925. Then the decision was taken, for John Russell Pope to build a memorial in the shape of a semicircle, which is situated in a circular pool. But the plan was never funded by Congress.

Chance for the memorial came in 1934, when President Franklin Roosevelt, a great admirer of Jefferson, asked the Commission of Fine Arts on the possibility of building a memorial to Jefferson. Congress voted to finance the project with three million dollars.

Architect John Russell Pope designed the memorial, he is also an architect of the National Archives Building and the building of the National Gallery of Art.

Jefferson Memorial at night

Pope made a sketch of a large building that looks like the Pantheon and stands on a square platform. After the death of the Pope in 1937, before construction of the building, the project was retooled in more conservative style.

The Commission of Fine Arts does not approve any projects for the Memorial and even published a pamphlet in 1939 against the design of the building. Many cherry trees should be removed to construct the building, which gave rise to many grievances in public.

In 1939 a competition was held to select a sculptor to make a statue of the president. After reviewing the work of one hundred and one candidates six finalists were approved. The chief sculptor was Rudulph Evans, and Adolph A. Weinman was chosen to make the relief above the entrance of the building.

Jefferson Memorial was officially opened on April 13, 1943, the two hundred anniversary of the birth of Jefferson. At this time the statue of Evans had not yet been completed. Since World War II was on, there was a lack of materials, the statue, which was set for the opening in the memorial, was painted to look like bronze. A true bronze statue was placed in 1947.

The building of the memorial is composed on circular marble steps, with a colonnade of Ionic columns, and the whole impression of the building is like the Roman pantheon.



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