Another Wilkes memorial in Washington.

Episode: 27. Site Number: 071. Date Posted: 9 November 1996. Location: Pennsylvania Avenue at Eighth Street, Washington, DC, USA. Type: Memorial.

Navy Memorial Back in Episode 5, I noted a plaque on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., that marks the site of Lt Charles Wilkes' house. Not far away, on the northside of Pennsylvania Avenue at the foot of Eighth Street, opposite the National Archives, is the elaborate Navy Memorial, the centerpiece of which is a series of granite bases arranged in a circle. The inner sides have protruding benches while on the outer sloping surfaces are mounted bronze bas-relief plaques (36" high by 32" wide) commemorating U.S. naval Tablet heroes. One of the southerly (appropriate) facing plaques is devoted to Wilkes. Sculpted by Antonio Tobias Mendez in 1991, it is titled at the top: "Exploration, Oceanography, Research. Navy Lieutenant Charles Wilkes in Antarctic--1840." Below, an Antarctic scene is depicted with towering icebergs, a ship (presumably Wilkes' flagship, the Vincennes), at least five men (with more in the background in two whaleboats), some seals and penguins, and a dog looking suspiciously like a golden retriever.