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James A. Garfield Monument, Cleveland

#20 of 124 in Things to do in Cleveland
Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The James A. Garfield Memorial was built in memory of the 20th U.S. President, James A. Garfield, who was assassinated in 1881. The memorial is located at 12316 Euclid Avenue in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. The country grieved for his loss almost as much as they had done for Lincoln, 16 years previously. In Washington, 100,000 plus citizens visited his casket, lying in state in the Capitol. Part of the memorial’s funding came from pennies sent in by children throughout the country.
The caskets of the President and Lucretia Garfield lie in a crypt beneath the memorial, along with the ashes of their daughter and son-in-law, (Mary "Mollie" Garfield Stanley-Brown (1867–1947) and Joseph Stanley Brown).
The tomb was designed by architect George Keller utilizing Ohio sandstone, with reliefs depicting scenes from Garfield's life. The exterior sculptures were done by Caspar Buberl. Its construction began in 1885, and it was dedicated on May 30, 1890. Its cost, $135,000, was funded entirely through private donations. The round tower is 50ft in diameter and 180ft high. Around the exterior of the balcony are five terra cotta panels with over 110 life size figures depicting Garfield’s life and death. The interior features stained glass windows and window like panes representing the original 13 colonies, plus the state of Ohio, along with panels depicting War and Peace; mosaics; deep red granite columns; and a 12ft-tall white Carrara marble statue of President Garfield by Alexander Doyle. An observation deck provides views of downtown Cleveland and Lake Erie. The monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
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James A. Garfield Monument reviews

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  • This is a spectacular feature of Lakeview Cemetery and one of the most notable buildings in the city, a monument to the homie President. The design is truly exquisite and I have come here on a...  more »
  • The monument is undergoing renovation so the inside is closed to the public. The outside is very cool and massive. Will definitely make a trip back to go inside!  more »
  • One of the most interesting graves of a US president. President Garfield a native of Ohio is entombed here. A carving of him made of granite graced the main floor, While he and his wife lay in caskets below in the basement. You can walk the steps to the next floor of the rotunda and walk out on to a patio above the entrance and see the city of Cleveland in the distance.
  • A brief history explanation given by the staff at the memorial helped us make the most of our visit. The walls of the monument building are ornate. The statue of Garfield is good too. You can pick up a map of the Lakeview cemetery from the staff and explore along the white trail.

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