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Let Us Have Peace: 1911

Let Us Have Peace: 1911

New York circa 1911. "Grant's Tomb and rubber-neck auto on Riverside Drive." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

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Re: Not iconic

The architect of the tomb, John Hemenway Duncan, wanted "to produce a monumental structure that should be unmistakably a tomb of military character." He modelled Grant’s Tomb on the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (model below). Duncan also strove to avoid "resemblance of a habitable dwelling." So it does not look like your house or mine, Bumpkin.

Grant's Tomb

I wonder who's buried there?

Not a Very Iconic Building

The next time I'm in New York, I'm going to visit Grant's Tomb. I've wanted to see it for years, and pay my respects to one of the saviors of the Union. But jeez, it seems like a lost architectural opportunity. Something just seems weirdly out of scale, out of place or out of proportion to me in this design.

Same angle today

It was Robert E. Lee who said, "It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it."

Few reputations have shifted as dramatically

That's how Wikipedia sums it up: "Very few presidential reputations have shifted as dramatically as Grant's."

Most of us learned to think of Grant as a successful general and a failed president, although the real story is more complicated. Ron Chernow's excellent biography has helped to restore Grant's reputation. Lin-Manuel Miranda, what are you waiting for?

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