Henry Bacon was the New York architect who designed the Lincoln Memorial, which stands at the west end of the National Mall as a neoclassical tribute to the 16th President of the United States. The construction of the memorial took eight years to complete, from 1914-1922.
Bacon had spent several years of study in Europe and had grown very fond of the architecture found in ancient Greece. He decided to incorporate that style into his design for the Lincoln Memorial. His true inspiration was the Athenian temple known as the Parthenon. What better way existed to remember a man who struggled to defend democracy, than to model his tribute after one found in the birthplace of democracy?
Bacon insisted on using a variety of stones in the construction of the memorial. The granite at the terrace level came from Massachusetts, the marble of the upper steps and outside façade came from Colorado, while the pink marble floor of the chamber came from Tennessee. One will notice the Indiana limestone on the interior walls and columns of the chamber, and the Alabama marble used for the ceiling tiles (soaked in paraffin to give them a translucent appearance). The statue of Lincoln was carved from Georgia marble. These stones from several parts of the United States, symbolize the importance of the Union to Lincoln.