Washington DC, A to Z: Ulysses S Grant Memorial

With all the monuments and memorials in Washington DC, the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial frequently gets overlooked. It’s not included in  the National Park Services’ list of  Iconic Memorials and Monuments. It’s not included on the Official Washington DC Visitors Guide list of Washington DC Monuments & Memorials. I don’t recall reading about it in any of the numerous travel guides I consulted when planning this vacation. It’s not even shown on most tourist maps of Capitol Hill.

We just happened to pass it on our way  to the Metro after our very busy first day in DC and walked over to see who was honored with the very large equestrian monument in front of the Capitol.   I took this picture  to post for the letter U and because the lion looks like I always pictured Aslan.

Ulysses S. Grant Memorial (1920) Washington DC
Bronze and Marble
Sculptor: Henry Merwin Shrady

A few days later, while driving slowly around the Capitol, our Monuments by Moonlight tour guide told us some fascinating stories about this monument, most are included in this article.   We never made it back to that part of DC, so  I don’t have pictures of the other sections of the monument.  DC Memorials has some great pictures of the Artillery and Calvary groups at either end.

U.S. Capitol and Grant Memorial
by Martin Falbisoner
Wikimedia Photo

This statue is far more interesting than it seemed to be when we first saw it. If you’re interested in finding out more about it, these articles are a good starting place:

History Behind Lion Statues in House of Cards Opening Credits by Tom at Ghosts of DC

Includes some great pictures from the Library of Congress Archives

Men on Horseback Dominate Memorials  by The Washington Times

An overview of the 28  equestrian monuments in Washington DC

Equestrian Statues & the Theory of the Raised Hooves by DC Memorials

Links to a page with detailed photos of 38 equestrian monuments in the United States

A Great Bronze Tarnished by Neglect by Michael F. Bishop at The Wall Street Journal

Exploration of the artistic value of the sculptures included in the memorial.


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