Does the Lincoln Memorial have a basement?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

The Lincoln Memorial does indeed have a basement. I had the opportunity to visit the memorial a few years ago and was fascinated to learn about the basement area during a guided tour. It was an unexpected and intriguing part of the memorial that many visitors aren’t aware of.

The basement of the Lincoln Memorial serves an important structural purpose. To support the massive weight of the memorial’s surface structure, dozens of concrete columns were poured in the basement. These columns provide stability and ensure the longevity of the memorial.

During my visit, our tour guide mentioned that some of these concrete columns in the basement actually have things written on them. This was a fascinating detail that added a layer of historical significance to the space. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a close look at the pillars myself, but it was interesting to imagine what kind of inscriptions or markings might be present.

I learned that the basement area is not accessible to the general public, as it is mainly used for maintenance and support purposes. However, there have been preservation projects in the past that have allowed experts to access and work in the basement. Steven Schorr, who led one such project in 2012, mentioned the presence of writings on the pillars during an interview.

The existence of a basement in the Lincoln Memorial adds another dimension to this iconic landmark. It serves as a reminder of the meticulous engineering and construction that went into creating such a monumental structure. While it may not be visible to the average visitor, it is certainly an important part of the memorial’s infrastructure.