Grant’s Tomb is the final resting place of former President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife, Julia. Grant’s Tomb holds the title of the largest mausoleum in the United States. Grant was the 18th U.S. President who died of throat cancer in 1885. Today, his tomb is located in Morningside Heights in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Upon his death, the Mayor of New York City, William Grace, sent a telegram to his wife, asking to bury him in New York City. Upon the offer’s acceptance, Grace sought to create a national monument in Grant’s honor. This idea drew a lot of public support since the public knew Grant as a great soldier and general. However, the idea also drew negative attention because opponents to the original plan wanted his tomb to reside in Washington D.C. Legislation for this, however, did not pass.
In order to create the design for his tomb, Grace held a design competition. Sixty-five designs were submitted to the competition, over 40 of which were submitted by people living in other countries. Eventually, the design of John Hemenway Duncan won and construction on Grant’s Tomb started. Today, officials hold a ceremony for Grant every year on April 27, in honor of his birthday. Additionally, other admirers make developments to the tomb as well. For example, artist Pedro Silva created a public art project surrounding Grant’s Tomb with the help of hundreds of neighborhood children. The goal was to bring children and artists together.
To many, Grant’s Tomb s
ymbolizes honor and courage. Because Grant and his wife lie in beautifully adorned red granite sarcophagi, admirers can easily pay homage to his services. Visitors are charmed and humbled by the tomb because of both its elegance and its owner. The tomb is a major monument in New York City that everyone can connect to.