The FDR Memorial is located in one of the loveliest locations in all of Washington. On the edge of the Tidal Basin along the Cherry Tree Walk, the memorial honors the only man elected to four terms as America's president, as well as those turbulent years when he guided the country through the Great Depression and World War II. When the cherry blossoms bloom in the spring, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial draws a lot of attention; but all through the year, it's worth a visit.
FDR Memorial Quotes
On tours of the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial, you'll have the chance to reflect on the era when Roosevelt was president—the time when he reassured Americans that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Before he was a leader, Roosevelt survived a bout with polio, which left him paralyzed and using a wheelchair. His story continues to inspire those who visit, even if they were born long after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Like many of the Washington DC monuments, the FDR Memorial is watched over by the National Park Service. Park rangers are on hand between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 every night, ready to answer your questions and tell you more about the memorial. Visitors are welcome 24 hours a day, even after the park rangers have gone home for the night. Throughout the day, the rangers lead interpretive programs at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, including one that focuses on the Fireside Chats. Whether you're planning to take a one of the ranger-led tours or just explore on your own, there's no cost to do so.
Covering 7.5 acres, the FDR Memorial Washington DC includes statues, water elements, and many of the president's words carved into stone. Designed by architect Lawrence Halprin, Roosevelt's memorial was dedicated in 1997. As you stroll through, you'll find four outdoor rooms, each one representing a term as president. The sculpture used photographs of the president, the First Lady, and even their dog Fala, to create detailed and accurate statues. Other scenes depict the Great Depression, including people waiting in a bread line and listening to a Fireside Chat on a home radio. The FDR Memorial is the only presidential memorial in the city to honor a First Lady. This statue of Eleanor Roosevelt depicts her standing in front of an emblem of the United Nations, honoring her support of the organization created in 1945.
The water elements at the FDR Memorial Washington DC are symbolic of many different things. The park rangers are eager to explain—a single drop of water reflects the economy that plunged the country into the Great Depression, while the stair-step reflect a dam built by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The waterfalls are symbolic of the chaos of World War II, while the still waters represent his death. Together, all the waters come together to provide an overview of his twelve years of the presidency.
The FDR Memorial Washington DC provides a good vantage point for seeing many of the other monuments of the National Mall. Across the Tidal Basin, the National World War II Monument honors the soldiers who served under Roosevelt as commander-in-chief. The Korean War Veterans Memorial is located between the two. Heading in the other direction, you'll next arrive at the Jefferson Memorial. Many tour companies provide transportation and guided tours if you want to see the monuments and rest your feet at the same time.