The Lincoln Memorial might attract several million visitors every year for the importance of Abraham Lincoln to the US and the grandeur of the memorial. However, even the most frequent visitors may not know certain truths regarding the monumental facts of the building. Below are some of the lesser-known secrets about the Lincoln Memorial that you can visit on your private tours Washington DC.
The Time it Took to Build and Open the Memorial
The efforts to commemorate one of the most loved Presidents of the country began immediately after the leader’s assassination in 1865. However, due to the several power struggles within the administration, the process was delayed uncertainly. Construction works did not begin until 1914, and when the construction of architectural elements was finished by 1917, but the First World War slowed down the process. Finally, the monument opened to public in 1922.
Lincoln’s Arms Sit on a Roman Symbol
The grand Memorial of Abraham Lincoln is a result of collective efforts of several artisans and designers. The chief designer of the statue of America’s 16th President was Daniel Chester. The carving was completed by a family of Tuscan marble carvers, known as Piccirilli Brothers, while the building was created by architect Henry Bacon. The Italian Piccirillis added a lot of Roman architectural style into the Memorial details. The most notable one is the pillars above which Lincoln rests his arms. The bundles of woods represented power in the past.
The Initial Design Was Much More Elaborate than the Finished Product
Sculptor Clark Mills was the person who the Congress planned to assign the job of designing the Lincoln sculpture. Besides, he also proposed to build a main sculpture of Abraham Lincoln signing the Proclamation and 70 other bronze statues. All this was planned to be housed within a 70-foot structure. However, the plan was dismissed because of the disapproval of Congress.
The Second Lincoln Sculpture Designed By French
Two years prior to beginning the construction of the Memorial, another Lincoln sculpture was gifted to them by the French. This depicted Lincoln in a standing position. The statue still rests at the grounds of the Nebraska State Capitol. Later, the Lincoln Memorial was designed by Bacon, who was a Frenchman.
Greek Influences in the Memorial
Bacon infused Greek designs into the construction of the exterior building. To be particular, the classic Greek Doric temple design was used. According to the National Park Service, the design was based on the Parthenon. Bacon is reportedly said to have believed that the memorial of a man who upheld the principles of democracy with such valor should have the design of a structure from the birthplace of democracy.