Overlooking the Tidal Basin, The Jefferson Memorial sits discreetly apart from Washington's other monuments as if paying homage to the contemplative life
cherished so deeply by America's third president. The memorial was authorized by an Act of Congress in 1934 and work was completed between 1938 and 1943. The design by architect John Russell Pope incorporates many of Jefferson's own architectural tastes. Anyone familiar with Jefferson will note the similarity to Monticello and the library at The University of Virginia, his crowning architectural achievements.
Upon entering the memorial, one is confronted by Jefferson's own words begining with the quote above which surrounds the base of the memorial's dome and towers over the 19-foot bronze statue of the man himself. On each of the chambers four walls can be found other jewels from Jefferson's pen taken from personal letters and two of his most famous documents - The Declaration of Independence and The Bill to Establish Religous Freedom in the State of Virginia.
The statue, weighing some five tons, was built by Rudolph Evans and looks from its sanctuary across the water to the White House, symbolizing a philosopher and statesman looking out into the world.