The Lincoln Memorial stands in Washington, D.C. in honor of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. The memorial is designed like a Greek temple. It has 36 columns, one to represent each state at the time of the President’s death.
In 1912, Henry Bacon, the monument architect commissioned Jules Guerin (1866-1946) to paint murals in the side rooms entitled Emancipation and Reunion.
In 1914, construction on the monument designed by Henry Bacon (1866-1924) began in West Potomac Park. The cornerstone was laid on February 12th, 1915, Lincoln’s birthday.
The marble building of three rooms stands 99 feet tall, and is 188 feet long by 118 feet wide.
In the center cella (room), is a statue of President Lincoln seated. The sculpture is made of 28 pieces of marble and stands 19 feet tall and 19 feet wide. It weighs 120 tons. Above the statue is the inscription,
“In this Temple, as in the hearts of the people, for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.”
Daniel Chester French (1850-1931) sculpted Lincoln after researching photos of the President taken by Mathew Brady. The statue faces east toward the reflecting pool and the Washington Monument. Under Lincoln’s hands, Roman fasces are carved into the marble to represent the strength of the American Union.
In the flanking rooms are inscriptions and murals. On the south wall of the Greek Doric Temple is the Gettysburg Address. The mural above depicts a slave being freed by the angel of truth painted by Guerin. On the north wall is Lincoln’s second inaugural speech, situated below a mural of the unity of the northern and southern states.
The memorial is represented on American currency, on the back of the penny and $5 note.