SAHARA Highlights: Presidential Monuments

by Jacqueline Spafford and Jeffrey Klee, SAHARA Co-Editors | Feb 13, 2018

With the American holiday Presidents’ Day on the horizon, this month’s SAHARA Highlights include photographs of presidential shrines. SAHARA’s supporters have contributed an abundance of images of sites that participate in the mythology of the American presidents, from the Washington Monument to the recent Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

To see more, visit SAHARA: 

To learn more about contributing to SAHARA, visit:

1 Mount Vernon 2016JEK12151368
Mount Vernon, Fairfax County, Virginia, begun 1734, enlarged and improved 1758-1759 and 1775-1787. Jeffrey E. Klee, photographer, 2016.

2 Monticello Stillman VA-01-CH48-014
Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, Albemarle County, Virginia, begun 1769-1794, substantially enlarged 1769-1809. Damie Stillman, photographer.

Robert Mills, Washington National Monument, Washington, D.C., 1845-1854. Richard Longstreth, photographer.

4 Lincoln Garden Harris 146025_cp
Jens Jensen, landscape architect, Lincoln Memorial Garden, Springfield, Illinois, 1936. Dianne Harris, photographer.

 The site is an important icon in landscape architecture for its overall design and for its extensive use of Jensen's circular stone benches, called council rings. It is also important for its articulation of a regional approach to landscape design, known as the Prairie School.

5 Upton Rectory_0577
Msgr. Martin Cody Keating and George Adams, St. Robert Bellarmine Church and Rectory, Burbank, California, 1967. Dell Upton, photographer, 2014.

Keating was an ultra-nationalist Catholic priest who had served as a chaplain in WWI.  All of the buildings on the campus, which includes elementary and high schools and which were assembled between 1939 and 1967, draw on familiar early American structures, including the rectory, which is derived from the river front of Mount Vernon.

6 Mount Vernon homage bank LA Upton 1960 Vw_0447
Rick Farver Associates, Citibank, former Pacific Savings Bank, Mount Vernon Office, Los Angeles, California, 1960. Dell Upton, photographer, 2012.

7 Reagan Library 20180209_170913
Hugh Stubbins and Associates, Ronald Reagan Foundation and Library, Simi Valley, California, 1988-1991, enlarged 2005. Air Force One Pavilion. Jackie Spafford, photographer, 2018.

7 Upton Lincoln Cabin_0673
HOK, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, Illinois, 2004-2005, view of reconstructed log cabin exhibit. Dell Upton, photographer, 2013.

Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610