Ten Memorials off the Mall you should check out

By Susan McElrath, Host Committee Member

  1. African American Civil War Memorial

The African American Civil War Memorial, at the corner of Vermont Avenue, 10th Street, and U Street NW, commemorates the service of 209,145 African-American soldiers and the 20,000 Navy seamen, who fought for the Union in the American Civil War. The sculpture, The Spirit of Freedom, is a 9-foot bronze statue by Ed Hamilton of Louisville, Kentucky, commissioned by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in 1993 and completed in 1997. The memorial includes a walking area with curved panel short walls inscribed with the names of the men who served in the war.


African American Civil War Memorial

Courtesy: National Park Service


  1. Temperance Fountain

The Temperance Fountain is located at 678 Indiana Ave NW, (the intersection of 7th and Pennsylvania). The fountain was donated to D.C. in 1882 by Henry D. Cogswell, a dentist from San Francisco and temperance activist. He designed and commissioned a series of to provide easy access to cool drinking water which he hoped would keep people from consuming alcoholic beverages.


  1. Samuel Gompers Memorial

The Samuel Gompers Memorial. is located at intersection of 10th Street, L Street, and Massachusetts Avenues. The bronze statue is in memory of Samuel Gompers, an English-born American cigar maker, labor union leader and a key figure in American labor history.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


  1. Albert Einstein Memorial

The Albert Einstein Memorial is a monumental bronze statue depicting Albert Einstein seated with manuscript papers in hand by sculptor Robert Berks. It is located a grove of trees at the southwest corner of the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences at 2101 Constitution Avenue N.W., near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.



  1. Henry Longfellow Statue

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow statue is located at the intersection of M Street and Connecticut Avenue. The bronze statue, by William Couper and Thomas Ball was dedicated on May 7, 1909. An association including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Cabot Lodge, Charles William Eliot, Edward Everett Hale, and Julia Ward Howe raised money for the effort. Members of the organization. The poet’s granddaughter, Erica Thorp, presided at the unveiling ceremony which was attended by Chief Justice Melville Fuller and featured the United States Marine Band.


  1. Guglielmo Marconi Statue

Guglielmo Marconi is a public artwork by Attilio Piccirilli, located at the intersection of 16th and Lamont Streets, NW, in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood. It is a tribute to Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi. It was paid for by public subscription and erected in 1941. The artwork was listed on both the District of Columbia Inventory of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.


  1.  Adams Memorial

The Adams Memorial is a grave marker located in Section E of Rock Creek Cemetery, featuring a cast bronze allegorical sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The shrouded figure is seated against a granite block which forms one side of a hexagonal plot, designed by architect Stanford White. Across a small light-toned granite plaza, a comfortable stone bench invites visitors to rest and meditate. The memorial was commissioned in 1886 to honor Marian “Clover” Hooper Adams, deceased photographer and wife of novelist Henry Adams. Eleanor Roosevelt was one its many famous visitors.


Adams Memorial by St. Gaudens

Courtesy: National Park Service


  1. Titanic Memorial

The Titanic Memorial is a granite statue in southwest D.C., that honors the men who gave their lives so that women and children might be saved during the RMS Titanic disaster. The thirteen-foot-tall figure is of a partly clad male figure with arms outstretched standing on a square base. The base is flanked by a square arcade by Henry Bacon, that encloses a small raised platform. The statue was erected by the Women’s Titanic Memorial Association. Originally located at the foot of New Hampshire Avenue, NW in Rock Creek Park, the monument was removed in 1966 to accommodate the Kennedy Center. The memorial now sits at Fourth and P Streets, SW, in Washington Channel Park. It was designed by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who won the commission in open competition, and sculpted by John Horrigan from a single piece of red granite. It was unveiled May 26, 1931, by Helen Herron Taft, the widow of President Taft.


  1. Cuban Friendship Urn

The Cuban Friendship Urn, also known as the Cuban-American Friendship Urn or USS Maine Memorial is located in East Potomac Park, south of the Tidal Basin near the north end of the 14th Street Bridge. Decorations on the 7-foot tall marble urn include an eagle with its wings outstretched and human figures depicted in a neoclassical style. It once stood atop a column of marble in Havana, to commemorate the U.S. sailors and Marines who lost their lives aboard the USS Maine when it sank in Havana harbor in 1898, and the friendship and bonds between Cuba and the United States. A hurricane in October 1926 knocked the column over, and in 1928 the urn was sent to the United States and presented to President Calvin Coolidge. According to the National Park Service, the urn was placed in a West Potomac Park rose garden in 1928, where it remained until the 1940s, when it was moved for the 14th Street Bridge. The urn was placed in East Potomac Park in 1998.


  1. DC War Memorial

The District of Columbia War Memorial commemorates the citizens of the District of Columbia who served in World War I. The memorial stands in West Potomac Park in a grove of trees. Authorized by an act of Congress on June 7, 1924, contributions of  organizations and individual citizens of the District provided the funds to construct the memorial. Construction began in the spring of 1931, and President Herbert Hoover dedicated the memorial on November 11, 1931. It was the first war memorial to be erected in West Potomac Park, and remains the only local District memorial on the National Mall. Designed by Washington architect Frederick H. Brooke, the District of Columbia War Memorial is a circular, domed, peristyle Doric temple that was intended for use as a bandstand. Preserved in the cornerstone of the District of Columbia World War Memorial is a list of 26,000 Washingtonians who served in the Great War. Inscribed on the base are the names of the 499 District of Columbia citizens who lost their lives in the war and medallions representing the branches of the armed forces.


DC World War I Memorial

Courtesy: National Park Service

One thought on “Ten Memorials off the Mall you should check out

  1. Lynn Smith says:

    I’d like to suggest a visit to the Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II, located near Union Station. It is a powerful and moving reminder of the U.S. government’s establishment of internment camps for over 100,000 Japanese-Americans after the start of WWII. The centerpiece of the memorial, dedicated November 9, 2000, is a sculpture of two cranes tangled in barbed wire. The memorial not only serves to remember those interned, but hundreds of brave Japanese-Americans who fought, and died, for the U.S. during the war.


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