Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Thomas Jefferson Memorial

This memorial to the city of Washington D.C, the capital of United States is dedicated to President Thomas Jefferson, and despite the dates of construction, between 1939 and 1943 it is a building in a clearly neoclassical style, more typical of the end of the 18th century or of the XIX, that of the middle of the last century XX.


Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington

However, it must be said that the character being honored may have liked it better that way, since Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), in addition to being the third president of the United States and one of the Called Founding Fathers of the Nation, he was also an outstanding architect who carried out works such as the Richmond Capitol or the Monticello residence, both in the state of Virginia.

Perhaps that is why the architect who designed the Jefferson Memorial, John Russel Pope (1874 – 1937) was inspired by this style, although he was an architect who in all his works shows his classical training, somewhat out of date. In fact, at the time it was already heavily criticized because it was thought that it was a bit ridiculous to build buildings with those shapes at that time in history. However, it is evident that the neoclassical style has always had a very official character. And it is that we must not forget that this construction was a personal commitment of the presidents themselvesFranklin D. Roosevelt, who thought it appropriate to build a memorial with the name of Jefferson to complement other existing ones in the US capital in honor of Abraham Lincolnor Georges Washington.

In this case he designed a work, which did not even contemplate the beginning of its construction, and for which he was clearly inspired byRoman architecture, especially with a very Of course: the Pantheon of Agrippa. With a very similar scheme based on a staircase, a monumental portico and a dome, although it is true that here the staircase has larger dimensions which gives the portico a greater prominence, while the dome is more embedded in the structure of the building.

Another point in common between the Jefferson Memorial and Roman construction is the massive use of marble, although in this case it was extracted from quarries in nearby Vermont, as well as from other places such as Tennessee (pink marble), Missouri (grey marble), and Georgia (white marble).

And if the exterior of the Memorial is very neoclassical and monumental, the same goes for its interior, where a huge statue of the honoree stands and all the walls serve as a large stone canvas where passages from the written texts are inscribed by T. Jefferson.

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