General Grant National Memorial, also known as Grand Tomb is one of the most quested places by tourists who are eager to learn more about the city’s culture while visiting. It is big, beautifully made mausoleum that contains the bodies of Ulysses S. Grant, an American Civil War General and the 18th President of the United States, and his wife, Julia Dent Grant. This whole complex aims to celebrate the past history and the heroes of the war.
It was finished in 1897 and it was created by the famous architect John Duncan. The structure is made mainly from granite and marble and its design is inspired by the tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus, one of the seven wonders. Still, it has several modern reconstructions done and due to its size is the largest building of this kind in North America. It is a truly impressive appearance and it attracts more and more tourists every year. They are touched by the monumental marble structures and by its hidden secrets of the war, that everybody is invited to discover.
Regardless of its major cultural and esthetic importance and despite the fact that it is protected by the National Park Service, at the end of the 290th century it was neglected and it suffered some considerable damages. It was vandalized, covered with graffiti and nature has done its part too. It was far from being on the top list of restitutions and it began to be forgotten. However, happily it became a priority in 1989, when an interest in the Civil War developed and the symbols and heroes of that time gained unexpected popularity. More people were interested in visiting and admiring the place, and its poor condition started to be an evident problem. Even the media was discussing the subject after a university student made public the issue. These was happening at a time when other major points of attractions were renovated in New York, such as Times Square or Central Park and locals were unpleasantly surprised to discover the poor estate of such an important historical monument.
For these reasons, immediate measures have been taken. The National Park Service invested $1.8 million to restore the memorial and help it regain the sparkle it once had. It was completely finished in 1997 and a re-dedication ceremony was held. It is extremely sad to think that such an amazing building, loaded with so much culture and historical significations was on the verge of collapse. It is unbelievable how people can sometimes forget of the most important things their ancestors had achieved and focus more on the shallowest ones that in the end have no true significance.
Happily things have changed in time in what regards the Grant’s Tomb mausoleum. It now flourishes with every passing day and there were plans to add a new visitor center behind the tomb and complete with public restrooms which are prohibited in the tomb itself under the express stipulation of Mrs. Grant. At this point, everybody is more than welcomed to enjoy this true historical and cultural jewelry.
With so much to see and do, there is never enough time in the day to explore all the New York has to offer. With an abundant choice of New York vacation rentals, planning your trip could not be easier, and having a centrally located accommodation makes economic sense so you do not have to spend too much time traveling to and from different sights.