Scenic USA - Washington DC

Jefferson Memorial

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Jefferson Memorial - Washington, DC

Photo by Brad Troy
Brad Troy Photography
Inset photos courtesy NPS

     One of last major construction projects in Washington DC's National Mall introduced a marvelous memorial to Thomas Jefferson, America’s third president. Listed fourth on the list of America's Favorite Architecture, Cherry trees in bloom - Tidal Basin, Washington DC the structure was modeled after the Roman Pantheon and constructed of white Imperial Danby marble from Vermont. The interior of the Jefferson Memorial is constructed of white Georgia marble with an axed finish, with floor covered in pink Tennessee marble. The Jefferson Memorial wasn’t always viewed in a favorable light. Thought to compete with the Lincoln Memorial, the neo classical style architecture was considered overused and old-fashion. President Franklin Roosevelt went on to approve construction and laid the cornerstone in 1939.
     One of the few changes at the memorial building replaced a plaster cast statue of Thomas Jefferson. When bronze became available after World War II, Rudolph Evan's sculpture of Jefferson was cast. The five ton statue looks out from the memorial’s interior, northward toward the White House.
     The Jefferson Memorial and other National Mall monuments are brightened each spring with the beautiful blossoms of 3000 cherry trees, a gift from Tokyo toCherry Blossoms - Washington DC the Nation's Capital. Because of the different varieties of trees, including the Higan (weeping cherry), Yoshino, Akebono, and Kwanzan, it's difficult to predict when the blossoms will peak. But if past history is reliable, average peak is March 31st. The National Cherry Tree Festival is slated to begin with the first days of spring and continues for three weeks. The annual festival features more than 200 international cultural performances, along with many other special events. The blossoming cherry trees, which surround the Jefferson Memorial, are one of the most anticipated highlights of the National Mall and Memorial Park.

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