Photograph by Donald J. Crump

Lincoln Memorial (The Mall; phone: +1 202 619 7222)

It took 50 years for the nation to decide how to memorialize the President who preserved the Union. In 1912 a presidential commission decided to use architect Henry Bacon’s plan for a Greek-style monument. The 36 columns represent the number of states in the Union at Lincoln’s death. The huge 19-foot (5.8-meter) statue by Daniel Chester French was carved from 20 blocks of Georgia marble and is considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest sculptures. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and his second Inaugural Address are engraved on the inside walls.