Brief Summary Of Monument Wars By Kirk Savage

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Monument Wars by Kirk Savage is a work that aims to investigate the larger significance of the progress of the planning and edifices of the National Mall which is the face of the United States’ capital. Savage looks at the many near-forgotten statues in hidden areas of the city along with the major monuments that most people can name in his inspection. Among Savage’s many points such as the National Mall, as it is known today, is a far cry from the plan that city designer Pierre L’Enfant had originally designed for it; Savage is clear on his thesis that the shifting role of memorials, tributes, and monuments in society can easily be drawn to the nation’s capital.
Savage begins by explaining how important the National Mall was to the identity …show more content…

Savage provides another example of changing philosophy with the mentions of the equine statues of John Logan, Winfield Scott, and George Henry Thomas. The three statues are, as Savage writes, examples of nineteenth and early twentieth-century memorial convention. Similar statues are found all over D.C., following the plan of L'Enfant, however, to the lay person what do these statues mean. The shifting importance form these statues that commemorate American “heroes” in some fashion lose favor and sight to the massive structures of the more celebrated and debated monuments like the Lincoln Memorial or Washington Monument. He then moves on from these ideas to the changing meaning of American memorials. Savage compares the three equestrian statues with the Grant Memorial. Still a major historical figure, a celebrated general, on an equestrian moun, but flanked by soldiers in an animated state of action. Savage argues that the Grant Memorial is a turning point in the American philosophy of the role of a national monument. Where, in the past, monuments such as those to Logan, Scott and Thomas we regarded as works to honor past heroes, the idea was to now have memorials that offered a chance for reflection of the monumental …show more content…

So, as Savage points out, the reader must bear in mind that as one dispute after another regarding the Mall comes to be the Mall is not a stagnant area, rather it is constantly in a pattern of evolution and “progress”. For example, Savage explains how the designers and administrators attempted to create a space devoid of political and social disparity so as to foster an air of respectful contemplation over the history that the Mall represented. How could those administrators have known that protesters would turn the National Mall into one of the most iconic locations of civil protests in modern-era America? Add to those protests activities such as the Smithsonian’s Festival of American Folklife and the Mall at times is not only politically or socially charged but at a complete disparity to its reverential and contemplative

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