Franklin Delano Roosevelt Monument
Dedicated on May 2, 1997, the monument, spread over 7.5 acres, traces twelve
years of the history of the United States through a sequence of four outdoor
rooms, one for each of FDR's terms of office.
Sculptures inspired by photographs depict the 32nd president alongside his
dog Fala. Other sculptures depict scenes from the Great Depression, such as
listening to a fireside chat on the radio.
Waiting in a bread line.
The dust bowl and poor farmers
A bronze statue of Eleanor Roosevelt standing before the United Nations
emblem honors her dedication to that organization and as a First Lady.
Many disability advocates remained upset with the FDR statue. A group raised
$1.65 million over two years to fund the addition of another statue that
clearly showed the president in a wheelchair. In January 2001, the additional
statue was placed near the memorial entrance showing FDR seated in a wheelchair
much like the one he actually used.
Running water is an important physical and metaphoric component of the memorial.
Each of the four "rooms" representing Roosevelt's respective terms in office
contains a waterfall. As one moves from room to room, the waterfalls become
larger and more complex, reflecting the increasing complexity of a presidency
marked by the vast upheavals of economic depression and world war.
The symbolism of the five main water areas as:
- A single large drop - The crash of the economy that led to the Great Depression
- Multiple stairstep drops - The Tennessee Valley Authority dam-building project
- Chaotic falls at varying angles – World War II
- A still pool - Roosevelt's death
- A wide array combining the earlier waterfalls - A retrospective of Roosevelt's presidency
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