When you visit the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, you are transported to a difficult time in American history, an era rife with economic depression, unemployment, and political upheaval. The memorial, which honors the 32nd president of the United States, comprises four outdoor rooms representing Franklin Roosevelt's four terms as commander in chief. It is a unique experience and provides unparalleled insight into the trials and tribulations of America's longest-serving president.
Planning Your Visit to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
If you are interested in visiting the memorial, be aware that it is open every day of the year. It is free of charge and open to the public. It is located just off the Tidal Basin, at Independence Avenue and Ohio Drive SW. There is a parking lot nearby, and the memorial is accessible by foot.
You may want to make a day of your visit to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. It is conveniently located near many of the other major monuments in Washington D.C., including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
DYK: There Are 2 FDR Memorials in Washington, DC
Some people are surprised to learn there are two Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorials in the Washington Metro area. The first, constructed in 1940 and designed by John Wallace and G. Edwin Bergstrom, is located in New York City's Riverside Park on Riverside Drive at West 120th Street. It was meant to be a place for families of African descent to hold memorial ceremonies for Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor.
Another FDR memorial was erected in 1964 in the president's hometown of Hyde Park, New York. This memorial was commissioned by the Public Works of Art Project and created by James Earle Fraser, a noted sculptor known for his work on the Buffalo nickel.
What to Expect at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
When you visit the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, you will encounter four outdoor rooms representing a different term in FDR's presidency.
The first room represented Roosevelt's first term. The room features three rectangular walls that recall the three branches of the U.S. government: The Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. The room also contains an obelisk that represents the fourth branch of government, the citizen.
Roosevelt's second term was represented by the second room, a River of History in the form of a granite bridge that spans a small stream of water. In the middle of the water, a small FDR statue is at the very front of the memorial. This statue pays homage to the president's first use of the presidential motorcade, who crossed the Potomac to his first inauguration.
Roosevelt's third term, which was also his last, is remembered in the third and largest room of the memorial. Here, the public is reminded of the president's physical limitations and struggle to lead the nation during economic distress.
Roosevelt's fourth term is represented by the memorial's open courtyard, which features a giant statue. This statue, which sculptor Robert Aitken created, is the biggest bronze statue of Roosevelt in the world. The statue is fascinating because it is crafted from a single slab of Georgia marble, which some visitors claim gives it added meaning.
Visiting the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is an experience that allows you to reflect on one of the most trying periods in American history. The memorial offers a unique perspective on Roosevelt's presidency and, in turn, the U.S. government.
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