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Winter as great time to visit Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, DC

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, DC is both an aesthetic and inspirational place that can be enjoyed anytime of the year, even in winter.

Statue of FDR and his dog
Karin Leperi

As the only President in the United States to be elected for four terms, President Franklin D. Roosevelt once asked that he be remembered with a plaque the size of a desk. Instead, a 7.5-acre park that includes statues, waterfalls, and ornamental gardens was opened in 1997. Consisting of four granite open-air rooms to represent each of Roosevelt’s terms, the memorial traces 12 years of history, including the Great Depression and world war, while he was in office.

Moving from room to room, the waterfalls become larger and more intricate, reflecting an increased complexity of world issues while he was in office. Sculptures and works by the likes of Leonard Baskin, Neil Estern, Robert Graham, Thomas Hardy, and George Segal are spaced throughout the grounds.

Look for the Neil Estern statue of the President seated in a chair with his dog Fala. This is the most controversial because many wanted FDR, as the victim of polio, to be shown in a wheelchair. In the last room is a bronze statue of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the only presidential memorial depicting a First Lady. Best to stroll the grounds in the morning, before the crowds arrive. If coming in the winter, anytime of the day is good.

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