The San Jacinto Museum of History unveiled a special exhibit entitled “A Monumental Experience: Construction of the San Jacinto Memorial Monument” in August 2020.
The construction of the San Jacinto Monument began in 1936, 100 years after the Battle of San Jacinto amidst a crucial chapter of American history. The exhibit begins with a look at what life was like for families following the Great Depression, the political environment of the era and the impact of New Deal projects including the monument.
As you proceed, the exhibit features construction photos, designs, blueprints, models and other artifacts telling the story of how the monument was built.
From the foundation up, visitors will learn about 100 million-year-old Texas Cordova shellstone and architectural elements like the Grecian frieze.
And of course, no exhibit about the monument would be complete without a close look at the star that rests atop the structure – a 34-foot-tall, 220 ton structure that extends beyond the top of the tower.
Even more striking are the personalities built into the monument’s creation. Texas history fans may know the names of Architect Alfred C. Finn, Engineer Robert J. Cummins or even the contractor for the construction, W. S. Bellows.
This exhibit, however, provides evidence that Jesse H. Jones – a major figure in the history of Houston and Washington, D.C. – actually came up with the design of the monument, and worked closely with Finn throughout its construction.
The exhibit also explores the people who physically built the iconic structure, hundreds of people who were previously out of work due to the Great Depression.
From lists of names of those who held pieces of the monument in their hands to the plow used to break ground for the Monument in 1936, the special exhibit tells a very relatable story of real people completing a once-in-a-lifetime project.
Whether you’re a first time visitor to the monument or you’ve always wondered how the monument was built, you won’t want to miss this special exhibit. Visit https://www.sanjacinto-museum.org/Museum/Exhibits/Special_Exhibit/ to learn more.