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Introduction
1)
Title
Jefferson Memorial
2)
Town, State
Washington, DC
3)
ID #
103
4)
Compilation Date (Initial)
June 05, 1999
5)
Compilation Date (Latest)
April 11, 2011
6)
Site Worked Last
May 31, 2013
Description
A bronze statue of the nation’s third president looks out over the Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C. Born 1743 in Shadwell, Albemarle County, Virginia, Jefferson, the memorial recalls, was a founding father and a leader of the American independence movement. He drafted our Declaration of Independence, authored the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom and created the University of Virginia, efforts he himself chose to document on his own tombstone. It is probably worth mentioning here that he also participated in and led state law-making and state government administration; served in federal government positions, including minister to France, secretary of state, vice president and president (two terms). There was also the Louisiana Purchase and his seeding of the Library of Congress with some 6,000 volumes (for which he was compensated). Not bad for government work. Up against all of this, of course, is that which is seemingly impossible to forget if not forgive – slavery: Jefferson owned, participated, enabled, for decades. Perhaps not unrelated, an important area of Jefferson’s failing, evidently, were his repeated efforts to codify government support for universal education. If this initiative had been successful, maybe the young nation’s young children could have, with better, more systematic learning experiences, begun to confront and change our slave culture, sooner. Maybe. For sure, however, Thomas Jefferson will come to share time and space with Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., across the Tidal Basin.

• The Jefferson Memorial project and its design include several key components: a central bronze, 25-foot tall statue-cum-base, in granite, of a standing Jefferson, the work of sculptor Rudolph Evans (aka Rudulph, 1878-1960); a low-domed, round and open-air building, by architect John Russell Pope (and, after he passed in 1937, by architects Otto R. Eggerts and Daniel P. Higgins) made of American marble and stone and looking not unlike Jefferson’s own pantheon-like buildings at Monticello and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville; and, a notable site of some 18 acres at the Tidal Basin’s southern edge, looking toward the White House, which site had been noted for potential use in the McMillan Commission plan. The Jefferson was sculpted by Rudolph Evans. To quote from Goode, Jefferson “wears knee breeches, a waistcoat, and a long fur-collared coat…. His hands are dropped at his side, and he clutches in his left a rolled paper – the Declaration of Independence.” (See DESIGN, below.)The design by Evans for the monument was chosen by the Memorial Commission, which in 1939 had set a competition and received some 100 proposals. Washington, D.C.-born, Evans studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and trained with Auguste Rodin and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. On the walls of the rotunda are selected Jefferson writings, in applied bronze letters spelling out excerpts from four of Jefferson’s writing. A fifth quotation circles the base of the dome. On the memorial’s pediment, situated above the portico leading from Tidal Basin to rotunda, is a sculpture in marble (10’ x 65’) by Adolph Alexander Weinman, a well received 20th century sculptor, showing the members of Jefferson’s declaration group engaged with its independence draft. (See Comments, below, for committee members.)

• The U.S. Congress in a Joint Resolution of June 26, 1934, authorized the memorial’s creation; it also provided funding. To further its effort, Congress established a 12-member Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission to plan for the work’s location, design and construction; representing the owner was the National Park Service, now as well as then. The Tidal Basin site was chosen by the Memorial Commission February 18, 1937 and agreed to by President Roosevelt – looping totally around the Fine Arts Commission process -- in March, 1938. Construction commenced December 15, 1938, with a ground-breaking, the president himself handling the honors. The monument was dedicated April 13, 1943, by the president, obviously a strong and determined supporter of both the memorial and the man behind it. Notably, as the country was at war in 1943, the use of metals was restricted, so for this dedication a plaster model painted bronze was installed. After the war, the plaster statue was exchanged for today’s bronze model. Made in 21 castings by Roman Bronze Works, Corona, Queens, New York, the work was shipped by truck to the memorial site, installed and put on public view Sunday, April 27, 1947. The contractor for the memorial’s construction is reported to have been Tyler Nichols, builders, Philadelphia.
Content
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1)
ArtsScience|PolThought&Philosophy
2)
American Presidents
3)
Founding Father
5)
Caucasian
6)
Not Applicable
Design
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1.)
Man-made
2.)
Inscription/Text Design
Integrated
3)
Statue(s) w/wo pedestal
4)
Stone/rock and metal
5)
Big
6)
Four +
7)
Inscribed/lettered directly and on tablet
8)
Text available, all
9)
Yes (see below)
9.1)
Image numbering/location
3100-401.1, 3100-401.2, 3100-401.3, 3100-401.4, 3100-401.5, 3100-401.6, 3100-401.7, 3100-401.8, 3100-401.9, 3100-401.10
10)
Design Preservation
Good
11)
Inscript. Separate from M|M
No
12)
Designers
12.1)
Designer 1
Artist/Artistic Group: Evans , Rudolph
12.2)
Designer 2
Artist/Artistic Group: Pope, John Russell
13)
Fabricators/Builders
Known
13.1)
Fabricator/Builder 1
Roman Bronze Works 
13.2)
Fabricator City
New York 
13.3)
Fabricator State
NY 
13.4)
Fabricator Country
United States 
13.5)
Fabricator/Builder 2
Tyler Nichols Construction
Setting
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1)
Architectural space
2)
Open Space , Water
3)
Appearance/Setting
Completed
3.1)
Appeal of the Item
7 Exceptional
3.2)
Setting appears appropriate
7 Exceptional
3.3)
Traffic near for access, distanced for appreciation
5 Good
3.4)
Visualization and panorama
7 Exceptional
3.5)
Opportunity to view, to enjoy the item
7 Exceptional
3.6)
Overall Averaged Score
6.6 Exceptional (Given a 1.0 - 7.0 Range)
To calculate comparative appearance estimates, CLICK HERE
4)
1934
5)
April 13, 1943
6)
Not Entered
7)
Not Entered
9)
Mall/Mall-like site
10)
Other Monuments on Site
11)
Satisfactory
12)
FedGov-National Park Service
Themes
1)
MonumentsandMemorials.com Themes
No Perceived Theme Match
2)
National Historic Landmark Themes
The American Presidency
Demography
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1)
File Number
12
2)
Town/City
Washington
3)
County
District of Columbia
4)
District
West Potomac Park
5)
State
DC
6)
Zip
20242
7)
Country
United States
8)
Latitude (GPS)
38.8815710000
9)
Longitude (GPS)
-77.0360580000
10)
Intersecting Street 1
Ohio Dr
11)
Intersecting Street 2
Jefferson Memorial
12)
Additional Identifier 1
Tidal Basin
13)
Additional Identifier 2
National Mall
15)
Man-made
16)
Government, Federal -- Exec / Other
17)
17.1)
First Americans/Colonists 1492-1775
17.2)
Revolution: War/Governance | 1774-1788
17.3)
Washington to Lincoln|1789-1865
18)
Compilation Date (Initial)
June 05, 1999
20)
Compilation Date (Latest)
April 11, 2011
21)
Compilation Technique (Latest)
21.1)
Site Survey
21.2)
Book/Pamphlet/Text
21.3)
Government Materials
21.4)
Website
22)
Source Originator
monumentsandmemorials.com
Comments and Notes
TITLE Alt: Thomas Jefferson Memorial
NAME: Thomas Jefferson had no middle name, according to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, specifically its website FAQs, retrieved 4/21/2011.
DESIGN (1): Pediment sculptor -- Adolph Alexander Weinman
DESIGN (2): Washington Sculpture, p. 494. See SOURCES (2), below.
DESIGN (3): The Continental Congress had appointed four members to a committee to work with Jefferson to draft a declaration of independence, a statement that would document why the colonies on 7/2/1776 in a voice vote declared their independence of Great Britain. The members in addition to Jefferson were John Adams (Massachusetts), Benjamin Franklin (Pennsylvania), Roger Sherman (Connecticut) and Robert Livingston (New York). The Congress approved the Declaration 7/4/1776.
DESIGN (4): The architectural firm of Eggers Group Architects (principally Otto R. Eggers and Daniel P. Higgins) took over the design project when Pope died unexpectedly, August 1937.
SOURCES (1): “Bronze Jefferson Placed in Capital,” The New York Times, April 30, 1947; Judith Dupré, “Monuments: America’s History in Art and Memory.” New York: Random House, 2007; Merrill D. Peterson, "Jefferson, Thomas,” American National Biography Online Revised Feb. 2000. Published by Oxford University Press; Wikipedia, “Jefferson Memorial,” retrieved 4/21/2011.
SOURCES (2): James M. Goode, “The Outdoor Sculpture of Washington, D.C.: A Comprehensive Historical Guide.” Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1974.
______________, “Washington Sculpture: A Cultural History of Outdoor Sculpture in the Nation’s Capital.” Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.
DEMOGRAPHICS (1): The Jefferson Memorial (a) was designated a National Memorial April 13, 1943, and (b) was added to the National Registry of Historic Places October 16, 1966, reference #66000029.
DEMOGRAPHICS (2): Some sources place the memorial in West Potomac Park and others, in East Potomac Park. The National Park Service says: “The site lies at the southern end of the National Mall, adjacent to the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park.” NPS website, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, retrieved 4/22/2011.



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