Paying tribute to Civil War hero and former president General Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia, the General Grant Memorial is the largest tomb in North America. General Grant is commended for his role in ending the bloodiest war in American history, with his words “let us have peace” immortalized in the structure.
The large granite and marble mausoleum is surrounded by seventeen intricate, Gaudi-inspired benches designed by Chilean artist Pedro Silva. The structure itself takes after classical inspiration with Doric columns and an Ionic colonnade. It bears resemblance to some of the ancient monuments of Rome. The interior, however, was inspired by the Tomb of Napoleon at Les Invalides in Paris.
Its main room is decorated with murals and mosaics depicting General Lee’s surrender and the end of the Civil War. In the gallery, you’ll find busts of General Grant’s most important lieutenants. In the spring and summer, the memorial is surrounded by beautiful plants and blossoming flowers. It stands as both a tribute to history and a living monument of today.
The General Grant Memorial is located at Riverside Drive at 122nd Street in Morningside Heights, near the north end of Riverside Park. To get there using the Subway, take the 1 to 125th Street. It is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, with free talks given throughout the day. Admission is free.