The Lincoln Memorial at Waterfront Park uses sculptural elements, artistic expression, and Abraham Lincoln’s own words to convey Lincoln’s lifelong ties to Kentucky and the state’s influence on his life. The memorial offers glimpses of different stages of Lincoln’s life, including his childhood in Kentucky, his political and social rise, the impact of the Civil War on Lincoln, his family, and the nation, and the roots of his abhorrence of slavery.
The Lincoln Memorial at Waterfront Park was dedicated in the summer of 2009 as part of the two-year national celebration of the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth. The sculpture was created by nationally renowned Louisville artist Ed Hamilton who also sculpted the "Spirit of Freedom," a Washington DC memorial honoring African American troops of the Civil War.
"I didn't want to do another Lincoln like all the other Lincolns...I wanted (it) to be a Lincoln of the people...
And so my vision was...I thought wouldn't it be interesting to have him, say a morning time walking to the office...And all of a sudden he came upon this big boulder, and he just took a notion to sit down. And he set his books and his top hat on the boulder, and he started reading one of his books. And all of a sudden, someone caught his attention and with a gesture of saying 'Hey! Come, sit down. Welcome...'