Chapter 4. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
A portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt's statue by sculptor Robert Graham at the beginning of the memorial. Taken at ISO 100, f/1.4, 1/200 second with a 65mm lens.
Why It's Worth a Photograph
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the United States' thirty-second president, elected in 1932 at the nadir of a financial catastrophe that forever defined American history, the Great Depression. His persona, leadership, and the era in which he governed are all represented through artwork, waterfalls, trees, statuary, and quotations organized into four "rooms" of the memorial on a total of 7.5 acres. The rooms represent his unprecedented four terms in the office of President from 1933–1945.
The FDR Memorial isn't one that is overtly photogenic like the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials. It is much more subtle in nature and built in a way that inspires contemplation rather than all-out awe. Two of the greater shocks to humanity of the twentieth century, the Great Depression and World War II, are events that shaped this time, and the somber and reflective tone of this memorial reflects that period.
Figure 4.1. The best locations from which to photograph the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial: (A) Room 2, (B) waterfalls in Room 3 and Room 4, and (C) Neil Estern's ...