2. Ulysses S. Grant: General Grant National Memorial

Grant’s resting place sits at the top of Riverside Park.

Located on the northern end of Riverside Park is the General Grant National Memorial, the final resting place of Ulysses S. Grant. The general and 18th President died of throat cancer in 1885 in Wilton, New York, at the age of 63. New York’s incumbent mayor at the time, William Russel Grace, wrote a letter to New Yorkers to garner support for the creation of a national monument in Grant’s honor. The prospect of having General Grant’s memorial in New York City drew extensive public support and a design competition took place, with an estimated reward of $500,000 to $1,000,000.

After two competitions, the design of John Hemenway Duncan, an architect who had had previous experience designing structures to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the U.S Revolutionary War, was chosen to design the tomb. Ducan’s design objective was to “produce a monumental structure that should be unmistakably a tomb of a military character.” The interior of the tomb features the twin sarcophagi of Grant and his wife Julia. This is inspired by the sarcophagus of Napoleon Bonaparte at Les Invalides in Paris.