Jefferson Memorial Gabby, maddie, ana & CAtherine

Photos from the construction in 1939-1943

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**Catherine is nice and smart and now knows the difference between the water and tidal basin**(Need to watch the video to understand)

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General Information

The construction of the Jefferson Memorial took place in 1939-1943. The architect on the project was John Russell Pope, but was later finished by Otto Eggers and Daniel Higgins. Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated the monument to Jefferson in 1943.

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson, oil on canvas by Rembrandt Peale, 1800

In 1779 Jefferson became the governor of Virginia, when Jefferson was 57, he then ran for the President of the United States of America in 1801. Jefferson stayed in office until 1809 serving 2 full terms.


The Jefferson memorial location: 701 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20242

Cherry blossoms- the cherry blossoms surrounding the tidal basin didn't originally start as a gift from Japan. When William Taft's wife took a trip to Japan and fell in love with these trees. She ordered for 2,000 to be sent to America and planted in Washington DC. On arrival in Washington it was discovered that the trees were infested and needed to be destroyed. When Japan got news of what happened, Japan sent 3,020 new trees to the America as a gift.

Burning the Contaminated trees are (Courtesy of U.S. National Arboretum)

In return to honor the Japanese's gift the surrounding the tidal basin, there is a 300 year old lamp that was donated by Sadao Iguchi, the Japanese Ambassador.

Architecture Of Jefferson Memorial

By Maddie Oehler

One of the things that has always interested me is the stone in the memorial. I have always been interested in architecture, and the Thomas Jefferson memorial has some of the best architecture, not only in aesthetics, but also in what it means. The stone is different all over the memorial.

The stone on the outside of the memorial is Vermont Imperial Danby marble, and the marble on the interior walls are white Georgia marble. While these marbles were chosen for aesthetics, they were also chosen to represent the 13 colonies. It symbolizes the differences in geography between New England and the Deep South.

Vermont Imperial Danby marble on the front
White Georgia marble on the inside

The floor marble is from Tennessee and the dome limestone is from Indiana, representing the Union.

Inside of the memorial and a good view of the Tennessee marble floors
Inside of the memorial and a good view of the Tennessee marble floors

Thomas Jefferson’s bronze statue is sitting on top of a Minnesota granite with a Missouri ring around the granite. Thomas Jefferson was the president during the Louisiana Purchase and these states were apart of this purchase, which is why the architect, John Russell Pope, chose this in the memorial.

The stand

As you can tell, the stones in this memorial were not chosen for aesthetics, they were chosen to represent Thomas Jefferson. I think that this is a lost art in architecture, where people are choosing aesthetics over meaning, and that is why the Thomas Jefferson memorial is important.

Jefferson Memorial Sinking?

By Gabby Garcia

What if you were told the Jefferson Memorial was sinking?

What if Washington DC lost one of its most well known monuments? What would happen if it was sinking into the water around it?

Photo from Metro D.C. Photography

In 2006 workers documented that the Jefferson Memorial and its sea wall were no longer stable. The 26 pillars that were originally designed to support the 32,000 ton monument are now failing. In 1943 when the monument was built, architects failed to drill the metal pillars into the bedrock. And because of this, the memorial and its sea wall is not stationed allowing for it to sink into the water surrounding it. Each year year the memorial sinks about 8 inches, meaning the workers must work quickly to keep the monuments steps from sinking.

And their goals for the project are:

  • Remove 500 feet of existing seawall
  • Remove original pilings, installed in the 1930’s, which were not placed on bedrock and which suddenly sank nine inches in 2009
  • Install new pilings to bedrock, build new seawall on those pilings, and re-install original facing stones on wall
  • Repair plaza adjacent to the wall
Photo from Clark Construction
Photo from Clark Construction

Now, why is it important to acknowledge the facts that the Jefferson Memorial is sinking? In 2016 3.41 million people visited the Jefferson memorial. There are millions of people enjoying a beautiful memoriam it is a chance for kids to appreciate Jefferson and ask questions. People that also live and breathe Thomas Jefferson while have something concrete to appreciate. If this was lost, this would be a major loss to the community.

Photo from the National Park Service

Coming from a family that lives in Washington DC, it is always fun to visit the different monuments. My family can really appreciate these monuments and many other people do as well. Everyone sits one the steps talking, people trying to get a good picture of Thomas jefferson, and people carefully walking and reading each quote on the sides of the memorial. Many people appreciate it, and even if the don't come back to visit there will be millions of people to visit in the following years.

*As of now, the monument has been saved and is no longer sinking*

"If you want something that you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done. -Thomas Jefferson

What Thomas Jefferson means to me

By. Catherine Smeallie

Thomas Jefferson is one of the most intelligent, interesting, creative, and one of the best president I have ever learned about. I'm am not going to try to bore you with a whole biography on Thomas Jefferson, but I am going to tell you about the highs of his life, and maybe some of the lows. My goal is to accomplish convincing you how astute, intriguing, and gifted Thomas Jefferson was.

First off, Thomas Jefferson was very smart. As you might know he was the French ambassador, 2nd Vice President, and the 3rd president of the United States. This is important to me because he is a great model of a president, and had made me want to be president one day. He also wrote the Declaration of Independance. If Thomas Jefferson was not president, who knows how many year it would have taken to get the Midwest to be part of America, because since Thomas Jefferson was the French Ambassador he worked with France to sort out the Louisiana Plan. Without the Midwest being a part of the USA, we might of not had some of the major cities like St.Louis, Denver, and New Orleans. New Orleans has always been one of my favorite cities. Every year I go there to help the homeless and kids with disabilities. Without Thomas Jefferson there couldn't of been 13 free colonies to begin with. Because of the Declaration of Independence it helped us gain freedom as country.

Secondly, Thomas Jefferson also had a fun side to him also. He was not just work, work, work. One thing he did was design his own house, called Monticello. He not only designed his house, we was an amazing architect in general. Like Thomas Jefferson, if being president does not work out, I would also like be an architect.

This is the house Thomas Jefferson built, Monticello

He had slaves and white workers, working for him. Thomas Jefferson was against slavery, but still owned slaves because he was afraid that they would not survive in the world alone. He also had children with one of his slaves. He also loved to draw and listen to music. It almost sounds like the song we all know today as Yankee Doodle and it sounds a lot like it is about Thomas Jefferson. Music and art definitely enhanced his learning because he attended William and Mary at age 17.

One food he loved was Mac and Cheese. We do not know if he was the first to bring it to america, but we do know that his recipe was very popular. The recipe is as follows

6 eggs. yolks & whites.

2 wine glasses of milk

2 lb of flour

a little salt

work them together without water, and very well.roll it then with a roller to a paper thickness cut it into small pieces which roll again with the hand into long slips, & then cut them to a proper length.

Put them into warm water a quarter of an hour.

Drain them and dress them as macaroni, but if they are intended for soups they are to be put in the soup & not into warm water

Thomas was also very creative. He was a very good architect. He not only did his house, but also founded/made the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson has a very famous building at UVA, and that is where most of the kids hang out. It is one of the main quad areas. This is very important to me because I have always wanted to go to UVA, since I was a kid.

He also designed the Virginia State Capitol. Most of what Thomas Jefferson build was traditional. His house/buildings had columns. This style was Influenced by his readings of ancient and modern architectural writings. To get the style he was satisfied with, he took from the best of this readings, and from his observations in Europe, creating in his architectural designs a style that was truly American .Some people call Thomas Jefferson the father of all architec.

Thomas Jefferson has taught me so much from helping to get some of my favorite cities to become part of the USA, to being the creator of my dream college and my favorite food. I hope that you now trust me on how Thomas Jefferson was intelligent, interesting, and creative.

Comparison between me and Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson: Foods

By Ana Bach

Thomas Jefferson was an accomplished man, with many goals in which almost all of them were met. He was the 3rd president of the United States, wrote the Declaration of Independence, and interestingly, he popularized many different foods from many different cultures. Now I know that's not the most important of course, but it is to me, and let me tell you why...

You see I am a pretty picky eater, which means there is a limited amount of food that I actually will taste, and later eat. Thanks to Thomas Jefferson, he brought some of my all time favorite snacks and meals back in the late 1700s.

French fries. Who doesn't love them! Interesting enough, Thomas Jefferson brought this recipe back from France, only the original name was “pommes de terre frites à cru en petites tranches (potatoes deep-fried while raw, in small cuttings).” Before fried sticks were popular, Jefferson cut the food into round balls often referred to as “fried spuds.” Despite years of trying, french fries never really became popular until the 1900s. Now, people have elaborated on this recipe by adding different spices to make it more delicious! We also see various different burger companies selling french fries like McDonald's and Five Guys just to name a few. To say the least, a small gesture by our very own lead to a huge mark on food culture.

Another food that is common amongst this generation and many others to come is ice cream. According to, Thomas Jefferson didn't actually invent ice cream. It has been around since 200 BC when people used milk, rice, and ice to make it. However, he did pretty much give us the flavored mint chocolate chip and rocky road. His first actual encounter with ice cream was in 1784-1789 France.

What I have recognized is that Jefferson got most of his inspiration from France for his food interests. Anyways, as president he served ice cream at many formal dinners on various occasions. Needless to say, it was a hit and if you look today, Jefferson's handwritten recipe recipes with the Library of Congress or down below:

Last but certainly not least Parmesan cheese. This cheese specifically was a sort of spin off from macaroni and cheese. Before the success, Jefferson thought it was nearly impossible to replicate the flavors because the milk used to make the cheese was from Italian cows. Instead he had many wheels imported for his own use. It was later paired with the steam powered grater to bring into smaller pieces as a topping. Jefferson most commonly used this for his “macaroni pie”.

I think it's safe to say that Thomas Jefferson was the first kitchen gadget enthusiast in America as well as hero in the food industry.

Questions we would like to ask Jefferson

  • Mr. President, how do you feel about a man of mixed race winning the nomination of his party for president?
  • Mr. President since you drafted the Declaration of Independence at age 33, what is your view on an acceptable age and level of experience to serve in government?


National Park Service. “Installation of the Statue in the Jefferson Memorial, 1947.” National Park Service,

National Park Service . “History of Cherry Trees.” National Park Service . National Park Service , n.d. Web. 10 May 2017.

“Frequently Asked Questions.” National Park Service,

Raune , Michael E. “Workers Try to Repair the Sinking Sea Wall at the Jefferson Memorial.” Washington Post . Washington Post , 2 June 2010. Web. 10 May 2017.

Jefferson , TH. “Timeline of Jefferson’s Life .” TH Jefferson . TH Jefferson , n.d. Web. 10 May 2017.

Clark Construction . “JEFFERSON MEMORIAL SEAWALL REPAIR.” Clark Construction ,

Charlottesville, Monticello and the University of Virginia in. “Thomas Jefferson, Monticello.” United Nations Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization, 1 Jan. 1989,

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