Mismanagement Desecration Restoration


Grant's Tomb became a national disgrace as it fell victim to vandalism and apathy.

Desecration at Grant's Tomb, c. 1970s or 1980s

Graffiti was extensive. So was drug and alcohol use. The tomb also was used as a bathroom and shelter by the homeless.

"Crack" Vial on Walkway indicating 
use and sale of crack cocaine.

Belongings of a homeless person camped
out at the monument.

"Dime Bag" typically used to hold marijuana.

More indications of a homeless person.

Other desecrations occurring at the site included use of explosives (periodically used to blow the beak off the Tomb's granite eagles), littering, apparent prostitution, animal sacrifice, and damage to the structure itself.

On top of this was the uncorrected deterioration that comes with neglect, including discoloration and water damage in the rotunda and cracking throughout the granite plaza in front of the tomb.

Cracks filled the granite plaza in front of Grant's Tomb,
which presented threats to structural integrity besides being unsightly.

Fortunately, the story would not end here, and Grant's Tomb had another chapter in its future: