The Lincoln Memorial, the most well-known of all of Washington’s memorials, is located at the far end of the Mall, separated from the Washington Monument by the Reflecting Pool, and is the most visited. The center of the Mall has a 19-foot marble monument of President Abraham Lincoln, who is seated and contemplative. The statue is surrounded by 36 columns, one for each of the states that existed during the time of Lincoln’s death. This sculpture is Daniel Chester French’s most well-known work. The murals on the inner walls, which depict significant episodes in Lincoln’s life, were created by Jules Guerin.
Upon its completion in 1922 to the present day, the Lincoln Memorial has been the site of several important occasions. When the all-white Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused to allow, celebrated African American singer Marian Anderson to perform at a concert in nearby Constitution Hall in 1939. President Franklin Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for her to give an open-air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This concert was attended by 75,000 people and broadcast to millions of radio listeners around the country.
It was on these steps that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I have a dream…” speech in 1963. Once again, making history in this location.
This sculpture and other Mall monuments are among the most popular things to see at night in Washington, D.C. All of the monuments are illuminated and many, such as the Lincoln Memorial, are open around the clock. During the night, the statue of Lincoln is exceptionally striking, especially when illuminated within the temple’s darker interior and framed by the temple’s floodlit white columns.
Like other monuments on the National Mall, The National Memorial, such as the neighboring Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and World War II Memorial – is administered by the National Park Service as part of its National Mall and Memorial Parks group. On the National Register of Historic Places since October 15, 1966, it was named the seventh most-popular piece of architecture in America by the American Institute of Architects in 2007. The memorial is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and receives more than seven million visitors every year.