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Jefferson Memorial, St. Louis, Missouri

Jefferson Memorial is a historic building located on the northern edge of Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri. The building was the first national monument to President Thomas Jefferson that commemorates his role in the Louisiana Purchase. Construction of the memorial began in 1911, and was completed in 1913, being funded mostly through proceeds from the 1904 World's Fair, also called the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. The building holds the Thomas Jefferson Statue, designed by famed sculptor Karl Bitter. It was originally commissioned by the Louisiana Purchase Company as a lasting monument to the nation's third president. The statue was unveiled in official ceremonies in April 1913, two days following the public opening of the Jefferson Memorial Building. The architectural features of the Memorial’s loggia include six Tiffany pendant light fixtures, a glazed terra cotta ceiling with ornate carvings, stone columns and decorative wall castings. Visitors can get a detailed view of the elaborate plasterwork within its galleries, and art-nouveau ceiling panels rich with images of allegorical and metaphorical figures painted in the Jefferson Gallery. World's Fair murals, rendered by well-known local artists Fred Gray and Fred Green Carpenter, also grace the Jefferson Gallery. The western wing of the Jefferson Memorial houses the Jefferson Gallery and the Lopata World’s Fair Commemorative Gallery. Both galleries are dedicated to the 1904 World’s Fair: Looking Back at Looking Forward — an exhibition marking the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, as the fair was popularly known. The eastern wing of the building houses the Piper Gallery. Today, the memorial continues to be a vital part of the expanded and revitalized Missouri History Museum, managed by the Missouri Historic Society.