AAA Editor Notes
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is in West Potomac Park along the Tidal Basin between the Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jefferson memorials. This expansive tribute to the nation's 32nd president comprises five separate sections covering the four terms and 12 years (1933-45) FDR served. The outdoor “rooms,” defined by red granite walls and beautified by ornamental plantings, create an atmosphere that is more secluded garden than imposing monument.
The Prologue Room contains a 10-foot statue of Roosevelt in a wheelchair, depicting the physical disability that inspired the man's leadership. Room One focuses on FDR's early presidential years, when he launched New Deal programs in response to the economic crisis brought on by the Great Depression. Sculptural groups in Room Two include a bread line—underscoring both the literal and figurative hunger many Americans experienced during the Depression years—a rural couple and a man listening intently to one of FDR's iconic fireside radio chats.
In Room Three is a statue of a seated Roosevelt and his dog, Fala, while Room Four, where a sculptural relief of the president's funeral cortege hangs in an alcove, honors his life and legacy. Also in the fourth room is a statue of Eleanor Roosevelt, honored for her service as First Lady, for the valuable political advice she offered her husband during his presidency and for her later work as human rights champion and delegate to the United Nations.
Shade trees, waterfalls and quiet alcoves throughout this open space encourage reflection and contemplation of the famous Roosevelt quotations carved into the walls.
Guided tours are available. Time: Allow 1 hour minimum.