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John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza, Dallas

(3.7/5 based on 650+ reviews on the web)
The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial is a monument to U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in the West End Historic District of downtown Dallas, Texas (USA) erected in 1970, and designed by noted architect Philip Johnson.The MonumentThis simple, concrete memorial to President Kennedy dominates a square in downtown Dallas near where the President was assassinated.Philip Johnson’s design is a “cenotaph,” or open tomb, that symbolizes the freedom of Kennedy’s spirit. The memorial is a square, roofless room, 30 feet (9 m) high and 50 (15 m) by 50 feet (15 m) wide with two narrow openings facing north and south. The walls consist of 72 white precast concrete columns, most of which seem to float with no visible support two feet above the earth. Eight columns extend to the ground, acting as legs that seem to hold up the monument. Each column ends in a light fixture. At night, the lights create the illusion that the structure is supported by the light itself. The corners and “doors” of this roofless room are decorated with rows of concrete circles, or medallions, each identical and perfectly aligned. These decorations introduce the circular shape into the square architecture of the Kennedy Memorial.Visitors enter the room after a short walk up a slight concrete incline, embossed with concrete squares. Inside visitors confront a low-hewn granite square, too empty to be a base, too short to be a table, but too square to be a tomb, in which the name John Fitzgerald Kennedy is carved. The letters have been painted gold to capture the light from the white floating column walls and the pale concrete floor. These words – three words of a famous name – are the only verbal messages in the empty room.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a nonessential venue. Dallas has great architecture and culture. If I had a chance to redo the day I'd go to Dallas Museum of Art and appreciate the landscape. I'd not be a tourist cliche and ...  more »
  • If you were a child in the 60's, you know your history about the assassination of President Kennedy. But to stand in the window of the book depository and see the perspective from the shooter's view, ...  more »
  • The memorial at night does appear like it's floating, which was the architect's plan. It is very striking to view at night.  more »
Google
  • Took my family down here. Great day to learn about history and time to spend with the family. The audio tour is not that great. I would just rather listen to my iPod and move along with the crowd. I like listening to captain beefheart and his magic band
  • Nice place , just had some information at two places. Nothing much to see. May be museum will have additinal stuf. Well reunion tower do have some documentaries on display on top.
  • A historical place with information and markings. Worth visiting if you're in Dallas.
  • Beautiful setting in this city. Close to a lot of history and a quaint little park with a play fountain for the kids. Was disappointed to see people standing on top of the center piece of the memorial, but that was no fault of the city.
  • Really great memorial in the middle of one of the best historic downtowns in the country. Must see if you visit Dallas. The surrounding museums are great too.