Thursday, March 4, 2010

FDR Memorial

“The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

This sculpture is the "Breadline" which stands in the FDR memorial.

On May 2, 1997, President Clinton joined Mike Wallace, Master of Ceremonies, FDR Commission Co-chairs Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Mark O. Hatfield, David B. Roosevelt, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and opera singer Denyce Graves to dedicate the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. The FDR memorial is only the third presidential memorial dedicated in the United States this century. The last time such a dedication took place was in 1943, when President Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Commission was established by the United States Congress in 1955 "for the purpose of considering and formulating plans for the design, construction and location of a permanent memorial. . ." to honor our 32nd President. In 1959, land was set aside in West Potomac Park for the memorial, following a layout established in 1901 by the McMillan "kite" Plan for monuments in the city of Washington. In 1978, after several design competitions, Lawrence Halprin's memorial design received final approval from the FDR Memorial Commission of Fine Arts.

The 7.5 acre memorial honors President Roosevelt in a landscape of four outdoor rooms with granite walls, statuary, inscriptions, waterfalls and thousands of plants, shrubs and trees. The memorial is located along the famous cherry tree walk on the Tidal Basin. The memorial's four outdoor gallery rooms offer visitors a historical narrative of the years 1933 to 1945, each symbolizing one of FDR's four terms in office.

Five sculptors were assembled by designer Halprin to create bronze sculptures placed throughout the memorial. They are: Leonard Baskin, Neil Estern, Robert Graham, Tom Hardy, and George Segal. Master stone carver John Benson inscribed the enduring words of FDR on the memorial,s meandering 800 foot granite wall. Among these are: "This generation has a rendezvous with destiny." "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a New Deal for the American People."

The FDR Memorial marks the first time that a First Lady has been honored in a presidential memorial. It includes a bronze statue of Eleanor Roosevelt standing before a symbol of the United Nations, for which she served as America's first Delegate after the president's death. Also included is an exact replica of one of FDR's wheelchairs, on display in the Memorial Entry Building.


  1. une belle sculpture et avec cette neige on a froid avec (et pour) eux

  2. Do you know when this memorial was built? It must have been after I moved from Washington D.C.

    There is also a simple marble block, almost like a head stone, in a little wooded area outside one of the federal office buildings along Pennsylvania Avenue in the Federal Triangle, that simply says "Franklin Delano Roosevelt." Apparently FDR expressed his interest in a simple memorial of that nature.

    The Truman Family decided that rather than a memorial, they preferred establishing the Harry S Truman Scholarship Program as a memorial. It funds young people from every state to further their education in careers for public service.

  3. I've been to DC many times, but never seen this memorial. I will have to put it on my list for my next trip!

  4. I really like this memorial and especially the quote you included. I think there are plenty of politicians today who ought to think that one over. Especially with all this health care debate that's going on.

  5. One can only pray that the young child will never be in need to stand in line for a piece of bread.

    Coming from a family where the daily evening bread was one of the most important times of the day, this was for sure of interest to read and much enjoyed as it did provide nice memories.

    A wonderful Friday for you all.

  6. FDR quote is a perfect subtitle on this fantastic sculpture shot. Just great, Tanya!


Hi! I'm so happy you've stopped by and always enjoy your comments :)