What Remains to be Done
Current Conditions

Contrary to popular impression, deficiencies at Grant's Tomb still remain.  The photos content blow is dated and some of the repairs have been completed.

Much of the area surrounding the Tomb, including stairways and paths leading to the monument from the north, remains in serious disrepair.

Walk behind Tomb

Path behind tomb



Eastern walkway north of Tomb

Western walkway north of Tomb

Detail of steps north of the Tomb

Grant's temporary tomb site, itself a memorial worthy of respect, is not properly cared for.


The Chinese Memorial plaque and surrounding area is untended

These locations - so much of what we would logically consider to be part of the site known as Grant's Tomb - are actually owned by the City of New York, which has for years entirely neglected its responsibilities to maintain the site.

The federal government owns a cramped space that includes only the Tomb proper and the retaining wall around it. The monument is one of the only public attractions of its kind without any public restrooms. Additionally, the site is without a visitor center to provide the education that historic sites minimally require. A sales desk, book racks, and some exhibits were installed within the Tomb proper, but these items are more appropriate in a visitor center that would allow the Tomb to recover a more reverential atmosphere - not to mention provide space for a more adequate presentation of Grant's life and career. Unlike the early days of the Tomb, visitors can no longer be presumed familiar with Grant's importance in history; visitor center facilities that can educate the general public as to Grant's importance and provide restrooms are essential. Space for such facilities is ample, but cannot be provided without the transfer of land from the City of New York. Given Mayor Bloomberg's manifest interest in reducing New York City's budgetary burden, such a transfer only makes sense.

The marble floor surrounding the sarcophagi containing President and Mrs. Grant's remains is discolored and cracked. This should be remedied.


No attempt has been made in recent decades to coordinate the surrounding landscape with the Tomb. Trees surrounding the monument have been permitted to become so overgrown that when trees are in full bloom, the structure can no longer be seen even from across the street.

The Tomb in earlier years was intended to include an allegorical finial on its apex and an equestrian statue in the plaza. By including these items, the Tomb can finally be completed.

Contrast the views from across the street

Early and recent views from Riverside Drive


Early view from Riverside Park

The mosaic benches should relocated to a more appropriate location, perhaps nearby in Riverside Park.

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