Historic Landmark Research Paper

HISTORIC LANDMARK RESEARCH PAPER 5

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Location

The Lincoln Memorial is located on the western side of WashingtonD.C.’s National Mall. The memorial is positioned across theWashington Monument. It is an attractive monument in the UnitedStates, which draws millions of spectators from different parts ofthe country.

Geography

The memorial is 190 feet in length, 119 feet in width and close to100 feet height (Washington.org, 2016). It has three chambers,which are the north, central and south. The north chamber comprisesof Lincoln’s inaugural speech. The speech refers to the GettysburgAddress, a well-known address in American history. The entire speechis imprinted in a wall, word by word, and is aimed at inspiringAmericans in the same way it did in 1863 (Washington.org,2016). Another speech carved on the wall in the southern chamber ofLincoln Memorial is the Second Inaugural Address, which was given in1865, prior to Lincoln’s murder (Washington.org, 2016).

The central chamber comprises of a marble statue that is painted inwhite. The statue is 19-foot tall and weighs 175 ton (Washington.org,2016). It is a sculpture of Abraham Lincoln as he looks over theNational Mall. While climbing the stairs that lead to the centralchamber, one notices a memorable quote carved on the wall, whichstates “in this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom hesaved the union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever”(Washington.org, 2016). Other visible features include the 36columns outside the memorial that are representative of the figure ofAmerican state in 1865.

Origins

Klein (2015) explains that the memorial was constructed in honor ofAmerica’s sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, which explains theuse of the name Lincoln Memorial. After the president’sassassination, many Americans felt the need to construct a memorialin his honor. It was opened in 1922, during the remembrance ofLincoln’s birth. The designer of the monument was Henry Bacon.

Relevant Historical and Establishment Dates

According to the National Park Service (2016) endeavors tobuild a statue that would honor Abraham Lincoln started in 1865,after he was murdered. Two years after, Congress created a LincolnMonument Association, whose objective was to seek sculptors to workon the creation of the memorial. However, members of the associationdisagreed on the memorial’s appropriate design, resulting inpostponed construction up to 1914. Majority of the architecturalelements had been completed by 1917, but the First World War slowedconstruction.

Relevant Controversies

Despite approval from Congress on the need to create a LincolnMemorial, politicians differed on the type of memorial and location.Some politicians and influential organizations proposed a utilitariancommemoration, like the construction of a bridge or road. Contrary,the select commission working on the construction of the memorialsuggested the building of a monument that would be located in theWest Potomac Park (Klein, 2015). However, even the commission membersdiffered with the location as some considered West Potomac to beunsuitable as a commemorative site. As a result, different locationswere suggested, which included Meridian Hill and the Soldiers’ Home(Klein, 2015). Apart from the location, the commission members couldnot also agree on the most suitable design for the monument. Thisresulted in the involvement of several architectures in designing thememorial. In 1911, the commission decided that the Lincoln Memorialwould be located within the environs of the National Mall and settledon a single design.

Gains

There are many benefits derived from visiting the Lincoln Memorial.One is that a student of history is able to gain a picture of AbrahamLincoln. While many individuals have read and are aware of PresidentLincoln, most students have not had the opportunity to see him. As ahistoric president, the monument successfully creates a picture ofwho he was in the minds of students. Also, apart from Lincoln’ssculpture, his important public addresses have been etched in thenorth and south chambers of the memorial. Students visiting the siteare able to read the addresses and gain an understanding of whoPresident Lincoln was, in addition to what he advocated for. Thespeeches remind students about America’s struggles. As a result,they are able to appreciate the contributions that have been made byAmerica’s founding fathers towards the creation of the country.

The unifying aspect of the memorial is that it places emphasis onthe significance of the union of America’s states. Lincoln Memorialacts as an important figure in preserving the union. Through thequote, etched on the wall, students are called upon to remain unitedand work towards the building of America. They realize the need toremain united as a country, regardless of the state that one comesfrom. Hence, the memorial also informs on the importance of peace andunity. By visiting the site, students are able to recall thestruggles that America has undergone, prior to attaining all itscurrent achievements, like world wars, and work towards ensuring suchwars are not repeated.

References

Klein, C. (2015). The Lincoln Memorial’s bizarre rejected designs.History Retrieved from:http://www.history.com/news/the-lincoln-memorials-bizarre-rejected-designs

National Park Service. (2016). Lincoln Memorial: History andculture. Retrieved from:https://www.nps.gov/linc/learn/historyculture/index.htm

Washington.org. (2016). Visiting the Lincoln Memorial.Retrieved from: https://washington.org/DC-guide-to/lincoln-memorial