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Impressive Even Without Any Cherry Blossoms
By Tom Adkinson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Jefferson Memorial is beautiful even when the cherry trees around the Tidal Basin are not in blossom. Construction of the memorial began 80 years ago in November 1938 following the design of architect John Russell Pope. Pope sought to use Jefferson’s own architectural tastes with 26 Ionic columns around the rotunda and 12 more supporting the north portico.

jefferson memorial
The Jefferson Memorial; image by Tom Adkinson.

Building materials came from several states. The exterior is white marble from Vermont, the interior is white marble from Georgia, the floor is pink marble from Tennessee and the dome is of limestone from Indiana. The 19-foot-tall statue of Jefferson in the memorial stands on a pedestal of black Minnesota granite. Rudulph Evans sculpted the statue of Jefferson, who holds a copy of the Declaration of Independence in his left hand.

Jefferson’s role in American history had many hallmarks – drafter of the Declaration of Independence, adviser to the Constitution, the nation’s third president, statesman, architect and founder of the University of Virginia. The memorial was dedicated April 13, 1942, the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Published MSeptember 28, 2018

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