122nd St. and Riverside Dr., Manhattan.
Visitor Center open Wednesday-Sunday, 9am-5pm.
The plaza is wheelchair accessible, but the memorial is not.
General Grant Memorial (NPS), 212-666-1640.
General Grant Memorial
The tomb of our 18th President and an Outlook Pavilion in Morningside Heights on the Hudson River
The General Grant Memorial is the final resting place of General Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia Dent Grant. The breathtaking structure, commonly called "Grant's Tomb," is not to be missed by anyone interested in history or architecture. With 150 foot soaring domed ceilings, a stunning 8,000 tons of white marble and granite, and sweeping river views, Grant's Tomb is not only the largest tomb in North America, but undoubtedly the most dramatic as well. It is matched in both form and function by the recently renovated Overlook Pavilion across the street in Riverside Park. The Pavilion serves as both an extraordinary lookout point (it is one of the highest elevations overlooking the Hudson) as well as a welcome center with visitor and community services. At the Tomb, park ranger-led tours give visitors the opportunity to enter the memorial and view the actual tombs while learning about the site's history. Outdoor concerts, memorial services, and other special events take place on the plaza.
Many believed that General Grant brought the Civil War to an end through his brilliant military leadership of the Union Army. Although Grant became President of the United States in 1868, his memorial honors his military, rather than political, service. Constructed by the Grant Monument Association in the wake of the war from 1892 to 1897, the tomb was designed by New York architect John Duncan, who, inspired by Napoleon's Tomb at Les Invalides in Paris, was chosen through an international design competition.
Initially a reluctant soldier, Grant had hopes of becoming a professor, but as a young man he served in the Mexican-American War, and then retired from the military and unsuccessfully tried his hand at farming. Grant reenlisted as a Colonel at the outbreak of the Civil War and rose rapidly through the ranks. Within five years he became the first four-star General of the Armies. After the Civil War, the popular general was easily elected president in 1868. Grant presided over Reconstruction and the re-assimilation of the South into the Union during his two-term presidency. Grant's support for the Constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal rights for former slaves would secure lifelong support by the African American community. However, as shown by the infamous battle at Little Bighorn, his presidency was not without scandal and was in fact ridden with Native American conflicts.
Against the policies of both Arlington Cemetery and West Point (Grant's Alma Mater), Grant insisted that his wife, upon her death, should be laid to rest beside him. The Grant family made the decision that his memorial would be in New York so that Julia could see the mausoleum from her home in Manhattan. She joined him there 17 years after his death. A sarcophagus was carved for each out of a single piece of granite, and they remain side by side beneath the great rotunda.
Things to Do
Groups of 10 or more can check the NPS General Grant Memorial program page to arrange a special tour of the memorial and exhibits.
History, architecture, summer concerts and lectures.