Tomb: An Overview
Dedicated in 1897, Grant's
Tomb is the second largest mausoleum in the Western Hemisphere (the
Garfield Memorial is the first).
Rendered in an eclectic
neoclassical style, the monument is adorned by Doric columns on the
lower level and a cupola above. It rises 150 feet above the ground and
over 280 feet above the banks of the Hudson River.
Early View of Grant's Tomb from
the Hudson River
The architect of the
monument, John H. Duncan, envisioned "a Monumental Tomb, no matter
from what point of view it may be seen."
The structure symbolically
From Riverside Drive
Influences on the final design included
On the facade of the Tomb
is the epitaph, "LET US HAVE PEACE," a quote taken from
Grant's acceptance of the Republican nomination for president that would
characterize the ultimate aims of his public career. Allegorical figures
probably representing Victory and Peace (sculpted by J. Massey Rhind)
are depicted on either side of the sign, marking Grant's importance both
in war and in peace.
On the four pendentives in
the interior of the Tomb are relief sculptures, also by Rhind, with
allegorical representations of Grant's
- note the tree of life and figures
holding symbols of education and the home.
- both figures hold emblems used in
- accompanying the figures are
symbols of victory, prosperity, and Grant's authority as
- symbols of death, (possibly)
strength, and eternity are held by the figures.
The interior is largely
made of Carrara and Lee marble from Italy.
Inside a circular crypt,
on ground level, are sarcophagi containing the remains of President and
Mrs. Grant. The sarcophagi are made of red granite from Montello,
Wisconsin, and each weighs 8½ tons.
|The Circular Crypt||
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Artwork and Furnishings
In 1966, mosaic murals by
Allyn Cox were added to three lunettes inside Grant's Tomb. The murals
portray scenes from three of Grant's greatest campaigns.
horseback) during the Vicksburg Campaign (November 1862 - July
Missionary Ridge, to the right of General George H. Thomas (November
E. Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox Court House (April 9,
|Behind the Tomb is a Chinese
memorial on the site of Grant's temporary tomb. Enclosed
by a black fence, this site contains a Chinese-English plaque
and a ginko tree planted on behalf of Li Hung Chang, the Chinese
viceroy who had met and developed a friendship with Grant during
the latter's trip around the world.
Across the street from
Grant's Tomb is the overlook pavilion. This structure once afforded
visitors a view of the Hudson River but has since fallen into disrepair.
On April 27, 2011, the long awaited
reopening of the newly restored overlook pavilion across the street
from Grant’s Tomb finally took place as part of the day’s Grant
birthday commemoration. Adorned with red, white, and blue bunting and
ribbon, the spruced up neoclassical structure was in brilliant form - a
stark contrast to the state of disrepair that had character-ized the
site over the preceding four decades. more...