General Grant National Memorial (as designated by the U.S. National Park Service), better known as Grant's Tomb, is a mausoleum containing the bodies of Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), American Civil War General and 18th President of the United States, and his wife, Julia Dent Grant (1826–1902). The tomb complex is a presidential memorial in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. The structure is situated in a prominent location in Riverside Park overlooking the Hudson River.
The granite and marble structure was designed by architect John Duncan, and completed in 1897. The National Park Service maintains that it is the largest mausoleum in North America. Duncan took as his general model the eponymous structure, the tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus, one of the seven wonders of the world; or rather a modern execution of a conception of it, since it is not known what it looked like. A huge public subscription paid for it. Over a million people attended Grant's funeral parade in 1885. It was seven miles (11 km) long and featured Confederate and Union generals riding together in open victorias, U.S. President Grover Cleveland, his cabinet, all the Justices of the Supreme Court, and virtually the entire Congress. The parade for the dedication ceremony of the tomb, held April 27, 1897, the 75th anniversary of Grant's birth, was almost as large and was headed by President William McKinley. New York City was chosen as the burial site so that Mrs. Grant could visit frequently, and because Grant was grateful to New Yorkers for their outpouring of affection during his later years.
Duncan's overly-ambitious original design, chosen by the Grant Monument Association, included monumental staircases leading down through terraced gardens to a dock on the river, bridging the Hudson Line railroad tracks and providing public access to the shoreline. This plan was scaled back and the monument itself was reduced in size.
The completed structure includes a main lobby overlooking a sanctuary in which Grant and his wife are entombed, guarded by busts of Civil War generals William T. Sherman, George H. Thomas, James B. McPherson, Philip H. Sheridan, and E.O.C. Ord. The domed space, with commemorative mosaic murals and sculpture, including "Victory" and "Peace" by J. Massey Rhind, and a large central oculus revealing on the lower level the twin granite sarcophagi of the President and Mrs. Grant, are quite spectacular examples of purely symbolic Beaux-Arts civic triumphalism. The conception has similarities to the design for the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte at Les Invalides in Paris. Over the entrance are carved words from Grant's letter accepting the Republican nomination for President in 1868: "Let us have peace"