The Graduate Center - City University of New York

Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

The first proposed national memorial for President Abraham Lincoln was passed by Congress in 1867, and initial designs called for a 70-foot monument with six equestrian and 31 pedestrian statues of colossal proportions, surmounted by a 12-foot statue of Lincoln. That project was never started because of lack of funds. In 1910, Congress again approved construction of a memorial and a commission chaired by former President William Howard Taft was formed. Henry Bacon designed the building modeled after a Greek temple and Daniel Chester French was selected to sculpt the figure of Lincoln. Construction of the monument began in 1914, and the memorial was opened to the public in 1922. Since the 1930s the Lincoln Memorial has become a symbol for civil rights activism and the location for significant public events in pursuit of equality.

Creator: Daniel Chester French and Henry Bacon

Date: 1922

Source: National Park Service, Washington, D.C.