Jefferson Memorial At Dusk
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The Jefferson Memorial is one of my favorites in Washington, DC. It is a beautiful monument, and the location surrounded by cherry trees and along the Tidal Basin is very lovely. I stopped by the Tidal Basin one evening at dusk and took this picture as the sky was just starting to show tints of rose and lavender.
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial, modeled after the Pantheon of Rome, is America's foremost memorial to our third president. As an original adaptation of Neoclassical architecture, it is a key landmark in the monumental core of Washington, DC. The circular, colonnaded structure in the classic style was introduced to this country by Thomas Jefferson. Architect John Russell Pope used Jefferson's own architectural tastes in the design of the Memorial.
The present-day location at the Tidal Basin was selected in 1937. On November 15, 1939, a ceremony was held in which President Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the Memorial.
In 1941, Rudolph Evans was commissioned to sculpt the statue of Thomas Jefferson. The statue of Jefferson looks out from the interior of the Memorial toward the White House. It was intended to represent the Age of Enlightenment and Jefferson as a philosopher and statesman. The bronze statue is 19 feet tall and weighs five tons. Adolph A. Weinman's sculpture of the five members of the Declaration of Independence drafting committee submitting their report to Congress is featured on the triangular pediment. Also noteworthy, and adorning the interior of the Memorial, are five quotations taken from Jefferson's writings that illustrate the principles to which he dedicated his life.
Few major changes have been made to the Memorial since its dedication in 1943. The most important change to note is the replacement of the plaster model statue of Thomas Jefferson by the bronze statue after the World War II restrictions on the use of metals were lifted. Each year the Jefferson Memorial plays host to various ceremonies, including annual Memorial exercises, Easter Sunrise Services and the ever-popular Cherry Blossom Festival. The Jefferson Memorial is administered and maintained by the National Park Service.
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February 24th, 2013
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