Located on the southeast side of the Tidal Basin, Jefferson's memorial incorporates one of his favorite design elements, the rotunda, reflecting his admiration of Roman politics and architecture. Controversy surrounded the chosen location...some of the cherry trees planted in 1912 would have to be removed. Protesters chained themselves to the trees. The government responded by offering them refreshments; the chains came off when nature called.
President FDR laid the cornerstone of the memorial, using the same silver gavel as was used for the Capitol and the Washington Monument. The memorial took 9 years to complete, and was dedicated in 1943 on the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth.
The central memorial room contains a 19 foot bronze statue of Jefferson by Rudolph Evans, surrounded by panels inscribed with Jefferson's quotations (edited due to space constraints.) Jefferson stands at the center, his gaze fixed on the White House.