Gazing pensively down from atop a granite pedestal, this larger-than-life statue depicts the 16th US president and namesake of Chicago’s Lincoln Park, in which it stands. Unveiled to great acclaim in 1887, the 12-foot bronze cast designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens predates the completion of Washington DC’s Lincoln Memorial by 35 years.
The statue—officially titled Abraham Lincoln: The Man—is surrounded by a stepped, half-moon exedra built by noteworthy architect Stanford White that features famous Lincoln’s quotes etched into its walls. Be sure to notice the detail in the statue’s face, as molds of Lincoln’s own face and hands taken while he was alive were used to recreate the lifelike figure.
The historic landmark is centrally located in Lincoln Park and can easily be visited on a walking or biking tour of the park that includes other attractions like the North Avenue Beach, Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Chicago History Museum.
Things to know before you go
- Replicas of this statue can be found in London’s Parliament Square, in Mexico City, and by Lincoln’s tomb in Springfield, IL.
- The artwork was named an official Chicago Landmark in 2001.
- There is a second statue of Abraham Lincoln (seated) near Buckingham Fountain in Chicago’s Grant Park.
How to get there
The monument can be accessed on foot or by bike. The fastest park entries to access it are from North Clark Street on either side of the Chicago History Museum, or via any of the three entrances on West North Boulevard.
When to get there
Visit any time during Lincoln Park opening hours, daily from 6am to 11pm. The statue is illuminated at night.
Lincoln Park Attractions
A stop to appreciate the Lincoln Monument fits easily into a day spent in Lincoln Park, Chicago's largest public green space. Relax on lakefront beaches during warm weather, stroll around the historic Lilly Pool, or explore nature while staying warm at the Chicago Academy of Sciences or Lincoln Park Conservatory. The park is also a family favorite as home to the Lincoln Park Zoo.
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