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Lincoln Tomb

Lincoln Tomb

Oak Ridge Cemetery
Springfield, IL

From a design submitted by sculptor Larken G. Mead, Lincoln’s Tomb was constructed from 1869-1874 at a cost of $180,000.  Due to uneven settling of the earth under the tomb, a complete reconstruction of the Tomb was started in 1901 by the local Culver Stone Company.  Following this reconstruction, President Lincoln’s son Robert Todd requested that his father’s body be placed in a specially designed steel and concrete vault beneath the floor of the burial chamber.  Again, due to external and internal deterioration, a Second Reconstruction began again in 1930 with a complete remodel of the interior.  President Herbert Hoover delivered the dedicatory address.  

The tomb’s interior is comprised of a monument that marks the location of Lincoln’s burial vault.  Nine State flags that are associated with the President and his family surround the monument.  The foyer has a bronze model of the Daniel Chester French statue of the President at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.  Statuettes commemorating Lincoln’s career line the corridors leading to and from the burial chamber.     

The tomb’s exterior is constructed of dressed granite from Quincy, MA and rises to a height of 117 feet.  At the approach of the tomb is a large head of Lincoln, the work of sculptor Gutzon Borglum.  Four flights of granite steps lead to the terrace, which has a cordon of thirty-seven shields, each bearing the name of a state that made up the Union at the time of the original construction.  Names of additional states are engraved in the granite at the rear.  Four bronze statuary groups are mounted at the corners of the terrace were sculpted by Larken G. Mead and represent the fighting forces of the Civil War.  Mounted on a square granite pedestal at the front of the obelisk is a large statue of Lincoln.  On the face of the pedestal is a bronze plaque ornamented with a coat of arms of the United States and representing the Constitution.  A fragment of the ancient Roman Servian Wall (built in 578 B.C.) is attached to the obelisk, a gift from the people of Rome to President Lincoln.