General Grant National Memorial | PARK AT A GLANCE

Sarcophagi of Ulysses and Julia Grant

Sarcophagi of Ulysses and Julia Grant

PARK OVERVIEW

Ulysses S. Grant was the commanding general of the Union Army at the end of the Civil War in 1865, and four years later, the 18th President of the United States, taking office in the wake of Andrew Johnson’s less-than-stellar stint as president. Grant was liked by both Northerners and Southerners, and when he died of throat cancer on July 23, 1885, his funeral was one of the largest events in New York City history. Though serving two terms as president, he is remembered more so as a solider, which is evidenced by the fact that the park is named General Grant National Memorial and not President Grant National Memorial.

Fitting a national hero, his fellow countrymen decided that no mere grave would do, and thus the idea for a massive memorial was hatched. Construction began in 1892, and the mausoleum was dedicated in 1897. During the time of construction, Grant’s body was kept in a temporary vault near the current park site. When completed, 8,000 tons of granite had been used to build the 150-foot-tall mausoleum, the largest in the United States. While no person needs a tomb this size, the public at the time obviously thought otherwise—the mausoleum was funded totally by citizen donations and not public money.

Grant’s Tomb

Grant’s Tomb

From the time that it opened up through the early part of the 20th century, Grant’s Tomb—as it is popularly known—was a huge tourist attraction. It wasn’t uncommon for a half-million tourists a year to visit, which was more people than visited the Statue of Liberty. Today, despite the population of New York City more than doubling since 1900, the Memorial barely tops 100,000 visitors a year (the Statue of Liberty receives 4.5 million visitors a year).

The General Grant National Memorial consists of the mausoleum and a visitor center located in a separate building. Guests can browse through a Ulysses S. Grant exhibit area and attend Ranger lectures on Grant and the construction of the mausoleum.


LOCATION

General Grant National Memorial is located in Upper Manhattan near the corner of 122nd Street and Riverside Drive at the north end of Riverside Park. This is a residential area, but as with anywhere in New York City, it is best to avoid driving and take public transportation. The closest Metro station is the 125th Street station. Exit onto Broadway and head south, then take a left on Tiemann Place, the first street you come to. Follow that a couple of blocks to Riverside Park. You will be north of the Memorial, so head south (left). You should be able to see the tall steeple of Riverside Church, so head in that direction.


OPERATING HOURS

The General Grant National Memorial Visitor Center is open Wednesdays through Sundays between the hours of 9 AM and 5 PM.

The mausoleum is open Wednesdays through Sundays between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM.

The Memorial is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. It is open, regardless of the day of the week, on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Veteran’s Day.

Times can always change, so before making travel plans be sure to get the latest schedule on the National Park Service’s official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for General Grant National Memorial.


FEES

There are no fees associated with a visit to the park.


SCHEDULING YOUR TIME

Visitor Center
allow 1 hour

Mausoleum
Allow 15 minutes

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Last updated on May 30, 2020
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