"East Elevation of Lincoln Memorial" By Henry Bacon, architect, ca. 1910
Ink and washes on paper mounted on paper and linen
16" x 38 1/2"
National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Office of
Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital
Lincoln Memorial Ideas for memorializing President Abraham Lincoln
in the nation's capital were numerous and diverse. One proposal suggested
a memorial road running from Washington, DC, to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,
while others recommended memorials at a variety of sites within Washington,
DC. In 1911, despite criticism that the reclaimed land there was unstable,
isolated, and subject to "malarial ague," the Commission of Fine Arts
chose a West Potomac Park site for the memorial, located on an axis with
the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building. Henry Bacon's winning
classical design was inspired by the Parthenon atop the Acropolis in Athens,
Greece. The 36 Doric columns around the outside of the memorial symbolize
the number of states in the Union at the time of Lincoln's death.