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.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Monument

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.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Monument Fireside Chat

Waiting in a bread line.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Monument Bread Line

The dust bowl and poor farmers

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Monument Dust Bowl

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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