Book Art: A Towering Work of Staggering Genius

Ford’s Theatre, the site of Abraham Lincoln’s 1865 assassination, is still operating. And they must be carrying around some serious guilt, because they’ve recently invested in a (literally) towering monument to Lincoln’s legacy: The Lincoln Book Tower.

This awe-inspiring sculpture represents (and resembles) the tower of books written about the man. Though it looks like it’s built from actual books, they’re actually bent aluminum book replicas, with covers printed on.

The 34-foot, or three-stories-high, Lincoln Book Tower.

The 34-foot, or three-stories-high, Lincoln Book Tower.

Roughly 15,000 books have been written about Lincoln. Paul Tetreault, director of Ford’s Theatre, says this makes Lincoln the most written-about person in world history, apart from Jesus Christ. Nearly 7000 books (or, book replicas) are contained in the tower.

205 titles are represented, most of them still in print. Because the tower was designed in 2010, there are no books published after that year.

The construction of the Lincoln Book Tower.

The construction of the Lincoln Book Tower.

‘There are books here for people of all ages,’ says Tetreault. ‘There’s young people’s books, there’s an Abraham Lincoln stickers book, there’s an Abraham Lincoln coloring book. And then of course there’s all of the bestsellers: David Herbert Donald’s great book about Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals — all of these major scholars who’ve written about Abraham Lincoln, they’re all contained in this stack.’

The 'books' look authentic even in close-up.

The 'books' look authentic even in close-up.

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