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John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial in Dallas (2014)
|Material||Concrete and granite|
|Length||50 ft (15 m)|
|Width||50 ft (15 m)|
|Height||30 ft (9.1 m)|
|Opening date||June 24, 1970|
|Dedicated to||John F. Kennedy|
Kennedy Memorial and Plaza
|DLMKHD No.||H/2 (West End HD)|
|Designated NHLDCP||April 19, 1993|
|Designated CP||November 14, 1978|
|Designated DLMKHD||October 6, 1975|
The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial is a monument to United States President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in the West End Historic District of downtown Dallas, Texas (USA) erected in 1970, and designed by noted architect Philip Johnson.
|Downtown Dallas and John Fitzgerald Kennedy |
Texas School Book Depository
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial
The Grassy Knoll
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
The John F. Kennedy Memorial was the first memorial by famed American architect and Kennedy family friend Philip Johnson, and was approved by Jacqueline Kennedy. Johnson called it "a place of quiet refuge, an enclosed place of thought and contemplation separated from the city around, but near the sky and earth."Dallas raised $200,000 for the memorial by August 1964, entirely from 50,000 individual donations contributed by private citizens.
The simple concrete memorial lies in the block bounded by Main, Record, Commerce, and Market Streets, approximately 200 yards (180 m) east of Dealey Plaza, where Kennedy was assassinated. The block, also known as the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Plaza, is in downtown Dallas near the Historic West End district, is owned by Dallas County.
Philip Johnson's design is a cenotaph, or empty tomb, that symbolizes the freedom of Kennedy's spirit. The memorial is a square, roofless room, 30 feet (9.1 m) tall and 50 by 50 feet (15 by 15 m) square with two narrow openings facing north and south. The walls consist of 72 white precast concrete columns, most of which end 29 inches (740 mm) above the earth. Eight columns (two in each corner) extend to the ground, acting as legs that support the monument. Each column ends in a light fixture. At night, the lights create the illusion that the structure is supported by the light itself. The corners and "doors" of this roofless room are decorated with rows of concrete circles, or medallions, each identical and perfectly aligned. These decorations introduce the circular shape into the square architecture of the Kennedy Memorial.
The cenotaph lies atop a low concrete hill, embossed with squares and slightly elevated compared to street level. Inside is a low block of dark granite, 8 feet (2.4 m) square, set into a larger shallow depression. The granite square is decorated on its north and south faces with the name "John Fitzgerald Kennedy" carved in gold letters. It is too empty to be a base, too short to be a table, but too square to be a tomb. The letters have been painted gold to capture the light from the white floating column walls and the pale concrete floor. These words – three words of a famous name – are the only verbal messages in the empty room.
Two dark granite squares are set in the plaza surrounding the memorial, each approximately 50 feet (15 m) from the narrow entrances to the cenotaph. They are each inscribed with an epitaph that reads:
The joy and excitement of
John Fitzgerald Kennedy's life belonged to all men.
So did the pain and sorrow of his death.
When he died on November 22, 1963, shock and
agony touched human conscience throughout the world.
In Dallas, Texas, there was a special sorrow.
The young President died in Dallas. The death
bullets were fired 200 yards west of this site.
This memorial, designed by Philip Johnson,
was erected by the people of Dallas. Thousands of
citizens contributed support, money and effort.
It is not a memorial to the pain and sorrow
of death, but stands as a permanent tribute to the joy
and excitement of one man's life.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy's life.— Jim Lehrer, journalist
Dallas County Judge Lew Sterrett was credited as the first to propose a monument to Kennedy on November 24, 1963, two days after the assassination.The concept became a formal proposal on December 2, when Sterrett formed the John F. Kennedy Citizens Memorial Committee with Mayor Earle Cabell and two dozen prominent Dallas citizens. However, other Dallas civic leaders, including former mayor R.L. Thornton, said the memorial was better placed in Washington D.C., attempting to distance Dallas from the infamy it had gained as the assassination site. The Committee solicited designs for a memorial after its formation; 260 proposals were received within a week, and 700 proposals were received by February 1964.
On February 5, 1964, the Committee, led by W. Dawson Sterling, announced it had met for a fifth time to narrow down the proposals to three or four finalists.On February 22, 1964, the Committee announced that two memorials would be created: one at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, and another "dignified and modest memorial near the assassination site". The location near the Old Red Courthouse was chosen in April 1964. The original location, announced as the block bounded by Main, Elm, Record, and Market Streets, was shifted to another plaza one block south bounded by Main, Record, Market, and Commerce. Both plazas were owned by Dallas County and were being prepared as part of the new Dallas County Court House, then under construction. By September, the concept for the Kennedy Plaza included a green space with a modest marker.
Committee member Stanley Marcus flew to New York and successfully asked Philip Johnson to take on the memorial design, which he did for no fee. Johnson's proposal model was shown to the Committee in December 1964, and the Committee formally announced the design on December 12, hoping to demolish the existing buildings and have the memorial ready by November 1968, the fifth anniversary of the assassination.An underground parking facility was built under the memorial site, however, and construction did not start until 1969. The Committee stated in June 1969 the memorial was being constructed for a reasonable fee and would be dedicated by January 1, 1970. It was finally dedicated on June 24, 1970 in a ceremony attended by 300 people. Sargent Shriver was the first Kennedy family member to visit the memorial in 1972.
The memorial was vandalized with graffiti in the spring of 1999.In mid 1999, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza undertook management of the memorial, rallying the support of Dallas County and the City of Dallas. The Museum became caretaker of the monument and launched a full-scale restoration project aimed at preserving the memorial and its history. Philip Johnson, the original architect for the monument, guided the restoration process implemented by Corgan Associates, Inc. and Phoenix I Restoration and Construction, Lt. Numerous local suppliers donated the labor, materials, and equipment required to return the memorial to its original beauty. In 2000, a panel of experts wrote an explanation of the memorial to satisfy the public.
The monument attracts approximately 500,000 visitors annually.
Soon after the Kennedy Memorial was completed, Gary Cartwright wrote in 1971 for The New York Times the "memorial seems esthetically spare, even forbidding", true to the concept proposed by Johnson.In a 1999 interview with The Washington Post , Johnson confirmed the concept: "I don't think it's sterile, of course. I love it. The idea of going into an empty room with nothing to help you, except to think about the slain president, I think that's a very moving image." Cartwright also noted the memorial "was erected, after much delay, by the city fathers of Dallas."
Architectural critic Witold Rybczynski wrote in 2006 that the monument is "poorly done", likening its precast concrete slab walls to "mammoth Lego blocks", and commented that Kennedy "deserved better than this".On the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination, Dallas Morning News architecture critic Mark Lamster called the monument "a disappointing product of the city's ambivalent response to the events of November 1963" and said that Johnson lacked "an animating vision that might have produced an inspiring design. This, in turn, was compounded by a lack of experience". Lamster also noted the similarities between Johnson's design and the unrealized Neue Wache redesign proposal for a war memorial in Berlin, created in 1930 by Mies van der Rohe.
Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne echoed these prior criticisms in 2013, stating the memorial "symbolizes the city's deep ambivalence about commemorating the assassination. A spare cenotaph, or open tomb, designed to be built in marble, it was instead cast in cheaper concrete. And its location east of the assassination site suggested an effort to tuck the history of that day away."
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established by President Lyndon B. Johnson through Executive Order 11130 on November 29, 1963 to investigate the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy that had taken place on November 22, 1963. The U.S. Congress passed Senate Joint Resolution 137 authorizing the Presidential appointed Commission to report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, mandating the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence. Its 888-page final report was presented to President Johnson on September 24, 1964 and made public three days later. It concluded that President Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald and that Oswald acted entirely alone. It also concluded that Jack Ruby acted alone when he killed Oswald two days later. The Commission's findings have proven controversial and have been both challenged and supported by later studies.
John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time in Dallas, Texas, while riding in a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza. Kennedy was riding with his wife Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally's wife Nellie when he was fatally shot by former U.S. Marine Lee Harvey Oswald firing in ambush from a nearby building. Governor Connally was seriously wounded in the attack. The motorcade rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital where Kennedy was pronounced dead about 30 minutes after the shooting; Connally recovered.
Dealey Plaza is a city park in the West End district of downtown Dallas, Texas. It is sometimes called the "birthplace of Dallas". It also was the location of the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy, on November 22, 1963; 30 minutes after the shooting, Kennedy died at Parkland Memorial Hospital. The Dealey Plaza Historic District was named a National Historic Landmark on November 22, 1993, the 30th anniversary of the JFK assassination, to preserve Dealey Plaza, street rights-of-way, and buildings and structures by the plaza visible from the assassination site, that have been identified as witness locations or as possible locations for assassin(s).
Abraham Zapruder was a Ukrainian-born American clothing manufacturer who witnessed the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. He unexpectedly captured the shooting in a home movie while filming the presidential limousine and motorcade as it traveled through Dealey Plaza. The film is regarded as the most complete footage of the assassination.
Mary Ann Moorman was a witness to the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy. She is best known for her photograph capturing the presidential limousine a fraction of a second after the fatal shot.
James Thomas Tague was a car salesman who received minor injuries during the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. Tague received a minor wound to his right cheek, caused by tiny pieces of concrete debris from a street curb that was struck by fragments from a bullet that was fired at Kennedy. Besides Kennedy and Texas Governor John B. Connally, Tague was the only person known to have been wounded by gunfire in Dallas's Dealey Plaza that day.
The Texas School Book Depository, now known as the Dallas County Administration Building, is a seven-floor building facing Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. The building was Lee Harvey Oswald's vantage point in his assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Oswald, an employee at the depository, shot and killed President Kennedy from a sixth floor window on the building's southeastern corner; 30 minutes after the shooting, Kennedy died at Parkland Memorial Hospital. The structure is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, located at 411 Elm Street on the northwest corner of Elm and North Houston Streets, at the western end of downtown Dallas.
The John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame is a presidential memorial at the gravesite of John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. This permanent site replaced a temporary grave and eternal flame used at the time of President Kennedy's state funeral on November 25, 1963, three days after his assassination. The site was designed by architect John Carl Warnecke, a long-time friend of the president. The permanent John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame grave site was consecrated and opened to the public on March 15, 1967.
This article considers the detailed timeline of events before, during, and after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States.
William Robert Greer was an agent of the U.S. Secret Service, best known as being the driver of President John F. Kennedy's presidential limousine in the motorcade through Dealey Plaza in Dallas on November 22, 1963, when the president was assassinated.
Badge Man is a name given to an unknown figure that is reputedly visible within the famous Mary Moorman photograph of the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy. Some researchers have theorized that this figure is a sniper firing a weapon at the President from the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza. Even though an alleged muzzle flash obscures much of the detail, the "Badge Man" has been described as a person wearing some kind of police uniform – the moniker itself derives from a bright spot on the chest, which is said to resemble a gleaming badge.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is located on the sixth floor of the Dallas County Administration Building in downtown Dallas, Texas, overlooking Dealey Plaza at the intersection of Elm and Houston Streets. The museum examines the life, times, death, and legacy of United States President John F. Kennedy and is located at the very spot from which Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed the President on November 22, 1963. 30 minutes after the shooting, Kennedy died at Parkland Memorial Hospital.
The Dal-Tex Building is a seven-story office building located at 501 Elm Street in the West End Historic District of downtown Dallas, Texas. The building is located on the northeast corner of Elm and North Houston Streets, across the street from the Texas School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza, the scene of the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. The Dal-Tex Building, sometimes called the Dallas-Textiles Building, the Dal-Tex Market Building, or the Dal-Tex Mart Building, was a center of the textile business in Dallas.
Dallas Market Center, located in Dallas, Texas (USA), is a 5 million square foot wholesale trade center housing showrooms which sells consumer products including gifts, lighting, home décor, apparel, fashion accessories, shoes, tabletop/housewares, gourmet, floral, holiday, and more. It was also the destination of United States President John F. Kennedy's motorcade when he was assassinated in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. The marketplace is closed to the public but open to qualified retail buyers and interior designers, manufacturers, and industry professionals. Market events throughout the year attract more than 200,000 buyers and sellers from all 50 states and more than 80 countries. The address is 2200 Stemmons Fwy, Dallas, Texas, 75207, USA.
Robert J. Groden is an American author who has written extensively about conspiracy theories regarding the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. His books include The Killing of a President: The Complete Photographic Record of the JFK Assassination, the Conspiracy, and the Cover-up; The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald: A Comprehensive Photographic Record; and JFK: The Case for Conspiracy. Groden is a photo-optics technician who served as a photographic consultant for the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
Orville Orhel Nix was a witness to the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. His filming of the shooting, which only captured the last few seconds of it, is considered to be nearly as important as the film by Abraham Zapruder.
Marilyn Sitzman was an American receptionist and a witness to the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. She was with her boss, Abraham Zapruder, as he made the Zapruder film, the most studied record of the assassination.
The Zapruder film is a silent 8mm color motion picture sequence shot by Abraham Zapruder with a Bell & Howell home-movie camera, as United States President John F. Kennedy's motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. Unexpectedly, it ended up capturing the President's assassination.
The three tramps are three men photographed by several Dallas-area newspapers under police escort near the Texas School Book Depository shortly after the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Since the mid-1960s, various allegations have been made about the identities of the men and their involvement in a conspiracy to kill Kennedy.
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