Harding Tomb

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Main article: Warren G. Harding
Harding Tomb
Harding Tomb-2011 07 12 IMG 0879.jpg
Front (northern side) of the Harding Tomb
Harding Tomb is located in Ohio
Harding Tomb
Location Marion Cemetery, Marion, Ohio
Coordinates 40°34′23″N 83°7′23″W / 40.57306°N 83.12306°W / 40.57306; -83.12306Coordinates: 40°34′23″N 83°7′23″W / 40.57306°N 83.12306°W / 40.57306; -83.12306
Area 2 acres (0.81 ha)
Built 1926
Architect Henry Hornbostel
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 76001485[1]
Added to NRHP June 16, 1976
The graves of Warren G. and Florence Harding, in the center of Harding Tomb.
Harding Memorial Association membership certificate, 1923

The Harding Tomb, also known as the Harding Memorial, is the burial location of the 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding and First Lady Florence Kling Harding. It is located in Marion, Ohio at the southeast corner of Vernon Heights Boulevard and Delaware Avenue.

Begun in 1926 and finished in the early winter of 1927, the structure is built of white marble. Designed by Henry Hornbostel, Eric Fisher Wood and Edward Mellon, the structure is 103 feet in diameter and 53 feet in height. The open design honors the Hardings' wishes that they be buried outside.

At their deaths, the bodies of the Hardings were entombed in the Marion Cemetery Receiving Vault. Once the Harding Memorial was completed in 1927, the bodies were reinterred in the Memorial's sarcophagus and it was sealed. Because Harding's reputation was damaged by personal controversies and presidential scandals, the Harding Memorial was not officially dedicated until 1931 by President Herbert Hoover.

President Hoover's dedication[edit]

On June 16, 1931 President Herbert Hoover gave a speech at the official dedication ceremony of the Warren G. Harding memorial. The following are excerpts from Hoover's eulogy for Harding.[2]

Oversight[edit]

Ownership of the Harding Memorial was transferred from the Harding Memorial Association to the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) in the 1980s. A full restoration was undertaken in the mid-1980s. And under OHS, the site began to be referred to, officially, as the Harding Tomb, to better describe to the function of the site.

Following a reorganization, the Ohio Historical Society transferred day-to-day management of the memorial, and the Harding home, to Marion Technical College (MTC) in 2011. This arrangement reduced OHS's administrative burden, while allowing the site to be attended to by MTC. OHS retains ownership, and works with MTC on major site issues.

The memorial is also important in American history because it is the last of the elaborate presidential tombs, a trend that began with the burial of President Abraham Lincoln in his tomb in Springfield, Illinois. Since President Calvin Coolidge, Harding's successor, presidents have chosen burial plot designs that are simpler, or combined those with their library sites.

Harding's dog Laddie Boy is not buried in the memorial with him. The dog is actually buried in Boston, Massachusetts and never lived in Marion.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ Hoover, Herbert. "228 - Address at the Dedication of the Harding Memorial at Marion, Ohio.". Retrieved 2010-07-16.  -- Herbert Hoover was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to head the Food and Drug Administration in April, 1917 during World War I. This is the department Hoover is referring to when he states he first met Harding in his "office".

External links[edit]