On a warm September morning,I walked all around the Tidal Basin(about 2 miles) and I appreciated the special monuments along the way.i enjoyed the reflection of the Washington Monument in the Tidal Basin.i saw the memorial to Doctor Martin Luther King with its fine sculpture and emphasis on his efforts to create a fairer United States for everybody.I appreciated the excellent,extensive memorial to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and I learned of his ideas to create an even better United States.I also relished the delightful memorial to our founding forefather,Thomas Jefferson who helped lay the foundation of this great nation.It was a privilege being in Washington,DC and seeing our cherished sites.
Another famous Memorial .. so much history here. Once we got here a lot here was free. We used hotel rewards points so it was a cheap 3 day weekend away. We'd just suffered a loss of a pet so wanted to get away to get our minds off it .. it did help until we came back to reality. Would love to come here when the cherry blossoms are everywhere.
The Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial, are two of my favorite monuments. Like many buildings in D.C., they are Greek in design, featuring columns, wide stairways and, of course, imposing statues as their centerpieces. The Lincoln Memorial is situated at the end of a long reflecting pool and the Jefferson Memorial sits across a tidal basin from the center of the National Mall, giving each their signature photogenic qualities, particularly as night falls and their ivory facades are washed in illumination. (Unfortunately, I was only 13 at the time and had not yet taken up photography as an addictive hobby).
For some reason the Jefferson Memorial doesn't resonate with Americans as much as other monuments in Washington D.C. There's even an episode in the Simpsons where Lisa visits the Lincoln memorial for inspiration only to be turned back by a wall of tourists. She goes instead to Jefferson, whose statue talks to her, but only to admonish her for visiting Lincoln first.
It's not like Jefferson isn't one of the shining lights of American history. Along with other founding fathers, he consistently polls as one of the most popular US presidents. His face is carved into Mount Rushmore along with Lincoln, Washington and Theodore Roosevelt. He penned the beloved Declaration of Independence, including these famous words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Although he does, ironically, poll slightly lower in the popularity stakes than the president who built the memorial: Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Perhaps it's the location some way off the National Mall that keeps people away. It's a peaceful, idyllic setting on the Tidal Basin, but it's a long, if pleasant, walk from any metro station. The location wasn't chosen to be a magnet for tourists, but because the area was directly south of the White House and symbolically suitable for a tribute to one of the presidents who had lived there, like Jefferson.
Whatever the reason the Jefferson Memorial is a beautiful and iconic structure that offsets the smooth waters of the Tidal Basin perfectly. The relative quietness can be a relief, especially when the National Mall gets crowded out by school buses emptying their many children onto the sidewalk.
The Jefferson Memorial commemorates one of the greatest of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence, one of the great documents in world history, and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom. He was active in the affairs of Virginia as well as the nation. He served as the Foreign Minister to France, as George Washington's Secretary of State, and as the third President of the United States, serving two terms. He commissioned the Lewis & Clark Expedition and more than doubled the size of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase. He was an inventor and designer. He designed the portable writing desk on which he wrote the Declaration of Independence. He invented the swivel chair. He designed his own mansion, Monticello, after studying Palladio. He founded the University of Virginia and was instrumental in the founding and construction of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was fluent in five languages, and was deeply involved in science, invention, architecture, religion, and philosophy.
The Jefferson Memorial was dedicated on the 200th anniversary of his birth. Around the top is engraved a quotation, "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
Jefferson died July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. His old friend, John Adams, second President of the United States, died a few hours later that day.
We rented a paddle boat and paddled around in front of the Jefferson Memorial.
ADMISSION / COST
$12.00 per hour - 2 passenger boat
$19.00 per hour - 4 passenger boat
RULES & REGULATIONS
- At least one passenger has to be of the age of 16 years
- Age Limit: If you can wear a life vest, you can ride in a boat. There are life jackets for individuals over 18 months of age or 25 lbs.
Reading about how awesome some of the sites are at night, my first stop was the Jefferson memorial. The major pro about going to the sites at night is that there are not nearly as many people!
If you're willing to do a little walking, parking can be found just to the south of the memorial in East Potomac Park. I parked here both days - at night, there's plenty of room, but even the next day, the lot was not completely full around lunchtime.
The Memorial itself is a round building, with Jefferson looking out towards the White House. Adorning the walls are several of his famous quotes. Across the tidal basin is a stunning view of the Washington monument. There are walking paths from here to the George Mason memorial and the FDR memorial. You also can get a very nice view of the memorial from the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.
When I returned the next morning, the crowds were in full force, so nighttime is the better option if you want to avoid that.
Among the many memorials in Washington, this is one of the more prominent ones. Dedicated to the third president of the United States, it is one of the more photographed memorials in Washington. During the Cherry Blossoms, it is seen between the beautiful blooms.
The architect John Russell Pope designed it after Monticello and the rotunda of the University of Virginia. At the center of the dome is a huge bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson sculpted by Rudolph Evans. On the surroudning walls are excerpts from Jefferson’s major writings, including the Declaration of Independence and letters to James Madison and George Washington forming a "shrine to freedom" as Franklin D. Roosevelt described it.
The memorial was dedicated in 1943, four years after the laying of the cornerstone. Because of his importance and influence in American history, his memorial was built to remind Americans of his greatness in the nation's history.
Modeled after the Pantheon in Rome and dedicated to America's third president, this is a very famous place to visit while in DC. Located in the Tidal Basin just aside from the National Mall, and surrounded by the beautiful cherry blossom trees - this is especially beautiful during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival when they are in full bloom. A 19-foot bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson, facing toward the White House, is inside, surrounded by tablets bearing his writings (not the least of which is the Declaration of Independence).
The National Park Service staff offer daily tours every hour on the hour from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
The memorial for Thomas Jefferson (the United States' third president and author of the Declaration of Independence) is a bit of a hike from the rest of the memorial located up and down the Mall. But it's worth the walk. Besides the building itself, there are educational exhibits about many of numerous Jefferson's accomplishments.
When I was there in June 2011, they were doing substantial repairs to the seawall next the memorial which detracted from the experience somewhat. You can see the construction in my pictures.
Best take a photo from the other side of the water before visiting this wonderful site on the shores of the Potamac Basin and surrounded by Japanese cherry trees. Try visit in spring when the trees will be blooming, but actually every year the cherry blossom festival takes place here. The steps leading up to the memorial are marble, and the statue of Jefferson is outstanding, even as the building stood empty for four years while waiting on the statue to be finished. The building is open 24 hours a day, and a good time for photography is in the evening when it is lit up.
The site for the Jefferson Memorial in relation to the Washington and Lincoln Memorials was of extraordinary importance.
The Capitol, the White House and the Mall were already located in accordance with L’Enfant’s plan. There seemed to be no spot for such a project if the symmetry that guided L’Enfant was to be maintained. So the memorial was built on land reclaimed from the Potomac River, now known as the Tidal Basin. F.D.R. had all the trees between the Jefferson Memorial and the White House cut down so he could see it every morning and draw inspiration from it.
The rotunda had Columns in the style of the Pantheon in Rome which Jefferson so admired. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, spoke out against slavery and was George Washington’s secretary of state. Also, he was, John Adam’s vice president and our third president and he established the University of Virginia.