Jefferson Memorial

View across the Tidal Basin

View of the Washington Monument

Statue of Jefferson


Classical  The Jefferson Memorial forms a north-south axis with the White House.  Architect John Russell Pope adapted Rome's Pantheon in deference to Jefferson's love for classical architecture.  Jefferson, an amateur architect himself, had used similar circular domed structures at his home, Monticello, and at the University of Virginia.  However, some critics derided Pope's design as old-fashioned, while others argued that Jefferson's philosophy dictated a more utilitarian structure.  Eventually, the Pope memorial was dedicated in 1943.

Sculpture  A wide plaza overlooks the Tidal Basin with its cherry trees, and stairs lead up through a portico, surrounded by a colonnade encircling an open center.  The pediment supports marble figures of Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston, members of the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence.  Rudolph Evans produced the central 5.8 meter (19 foot) bronze of Jefferson, and exerps of his speeches and writings are carved into the walls. 

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