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The Lincoln Memorial, Washington, USA

October 21st, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Lincoln Memorial, on the extended axis of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is a United States Presidential Memorial built for United States President Abraham Lincoln.

The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple, and contains a large seated sculpture of Lincoln and inscriptions of two well-known speeches by Lincoln. The memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered on August 28, 1963, during the rally at the end of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Like the other monuments on the National Mall, including the nearby Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and National World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial is administered by the National Park Service under its National Mall and Memorial Parks group. The National Memorial was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. It is open to the public from 8 a.m. until midnight all year, except December 25.

The Lincoln Monument Association was incorporated by the United States Congress in March 1867 to build a memorial to Lincoln. Little progress was made until the site was chosen in 1901, in an area that was swampland. Congress formally authorized the memorial on February 9, 1911, and the first stone of the Lincoln Memorial was not put into place until Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1914. The monument was dedicated by Warren G. Harding on May 30, 1922, attended by the former President's only surviving child, Robert Todd Lincoln. It won for its architect, the prominent Beaux-Arts designer Henry Bacon, the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects, his profession's highest honor, presented at the Monument in 1923. The stone for the building is Indiana limestone and Colorado Yule marble, quarried at the town of Marble, Colorado. The sculpture itself is made of Georgia marble. Originally under the care of the Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks, it was transferred to the National Park Service on August 10, 1933.

Standing apart from the somewhat triumphal and Roman manner of most of Washington, the memorial takes the severe form of a Greek Doric temple. It is 'peripteral,' with 36 massive columns, each 33 feet (10 meters) high, entirely surrounding the cella of the building itself, which rises above the porticos. Five adults holding hands cannot quite embrace the columns. By a happy afterthought, the 36 columns required for the design were seen to represent the 36 states of the Union at the time of Lincoln's death, and their names were inscribed in the entablature above each column. The names of the 48 states of the Union when the Memorial was completed are carved on the exterior attic walls, and a later plaque commemorates the admission of Alaska and Hawaii.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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