A Ranking of Every US Presidential Grave Site

 This ranked list was adapted from its original version (a really long Twitter thread). It has been formatted to fit this blog post.

By Joey Baker (@CptBaker)

Alright, I don't know how long this is going to take, but LET'S RATE SOME PRESIDENTIAL GRAVES!*

*presidential grave ratings are subjective to me and based mostly just on the grave, not rating presidencies here.

1. George Washington was originally interred in this vault. I like it. It's nice, humble, earthy. I'd be delighted to slough off my mortal coil in a similar brick box. 8/10.

Then in 1831, Washington got disinterred and moved to this substantially more public, more visible location. I do not like it as much. It's too shallow and the coffins being off-center bothers me, 6/10. The first one was better.

2. Moving along, we have John Adams, buried in a crypt under this church in Quincy, MA. Originally he was in a separate vault outside, but they brought him out of the cold for some reason, I don't know what year that happened, I'm doing minimal research. His wife Abigail is there, too. Seems nice and quiet, he's got something in common with the neighbors. 8/10.

3. Ol Tommy Jeffers is boxed up where else but Monticello! Gates at the front are gaudy, and the obelisk reminds us how many slaves he raped. Generally speaking, nice little graveyard, and at least it's outside. 7/10 on the grave.

Here's the other people buried around him. Note that Sally Hemings, mother of one of TJ's children, is not on the list, we don't actually know for sure where she's buried. There's a slave graveyard at Monticello but it's location has been lost to time. She might be on some land near the UV medical school.

4. James Madison is buried on his estate, Montpelier. Can you guess which one he is? I bet you're right. It's pretty nice, I guess. I still don't love obelisks. Wizards can have obelisks for grave markers, but they should be scrawled with arcane symbols. It's outside, though. I do like graves to be outdoors. 7/10 good foliage and sight, boring marker.

5. James Monroe's grave is GOTH AF and I fucking love it. Like a little mini-cathedral of black iron just for him. Look at that, that's awesome. I hope it has bats. It's in Richmond, VA, so here's an idea, tear down that fucking gross AP Hill statue and just put a copy of this thing up on that plinth. 9/10 best one yet.

6. Okay, John Quincy Adams. We've been here before, he's in the same tomb under that church that John Adams is in. Still 8/10 probably gonna be the highest population density of dead presidents you can get.

7. Andrew Jackson, real sonofabitch. And that quality did not cease with death! Look at this thing, a neoclassical gazebo with an obelisk in it. At his house in Tennessee. If anybody ever tells you Jackson is their favorite president, don't be friends with them. Boring ass grave, too, 4/10. Quit copying Greek and Egyptian shit. And ESPECIALLY quit mashing them together. It's infuriating.

8. Martin Van Buren is in a church cemetery in Kinderhook, NY. Okay, not bad. He's among the more "common people" at least. I think it's an obelisk?!? Honestly the pictures I'm looking at make it a little hard to tell. Might just be a big pillar without the pointy thing on the top? Weird choice. BUT he's not in like, a cemetery on a plantation with just his fam or something. 7.5/10

9. William Henry Harrison, forever contained within this creepy damn ghost lighthouse. Dude died after being president for ONE MONTH. Look at this ostentatious bullshit. Oh yeah, look at me. I'm William Henry Harrison. I'm gonna get elected president and then HAVE PNEUMONIA AND BE DYING THE ENTIRE TIME I'M THE PRESIDENT. 2/10, absolute trash, you did not earn those eagle ghost guardians, sir.

10. John Tyler is in the same graveyard in Richmond as Monroe. A good start, but severely lacking in goth badassery. You can see Monroe in the back there, raising the property values. And it's got a bust of him in case you forgot what he looks like. 6/10, would be a 5, but proximity to Monroe is doing some work here.

11. James K. Polk, buried under this weird marble box thing. With a view of what looks like some apartment buildings, or like a government office or something? Not ostentatious, certainly, and better than a bunch of obelisks, but drab and kind of boring. 4/10.

12. Okay. Zachary Taylor. You think he might be in a nice plot somewhere with an obelisk on a hillside or something? NOPE! Motherfucker got a whole national cemetery named after him.

So here's his actual mausoleum, right? Seems nice, tasteful, not too braggy, right?

OH WAIT WHAT'S THAT NEXT DOOR? MOTHERFUCKING NOT EVEN AN OBELISK A WHOLE PILLAR WITH A STATUE OF HIM AT THE TOP OF IT. Absolutely ridiculous, being up there trying to look nonchalant, just staring at a boat load of tombstones forever. 3/10 for tastefulness, 8/10 for gaudy as fuck.

13. Millard Fillmore. Eh, obelisk, little fenced off part of a bigger cemetery in Buffalo, NY. Boring. We're moving on. 6/10, seems nice, humble, nothing exciting.

14. Franklin Pierce, buried in Concord, NH. Honestly, not bad. A bit of copycatting an obelisk, but we're used to that by now. Wife and kids are there, too. Pretty good, wholesome, not too ostentatious. 8/10 grave for understanding that a grave can be a nice unassuming place for reflection.

15. James Buchanan, six feet under in Lancaster Pennsylvania, big ups to the masons, just right on there. Like a lot of these guys have masonic iconography, but usually from what I've seen they've been little medallions on a nearby wall or something. Nice grave, 8/10. It's outside, scenic. No obelisks, big headstone. I dunno. Could use a bench or something.

16. Okay, here's ya boy Abraham. Big Mr. Lincoln, Ol Daddy Long Hat himself. Nice little bust out front, looks like people have been rubbing his nose for luck or something which is weird.

Anyways moving on here we'll just check out-OH HOLY FUCK LINCOLN HAS A DAMN WIZARD TOWER OF A TOMB. I like Lincoln but hot damn man, you weren't Emperor of mankind or anything. But really, like 9/10, it worked. It impressed me into liking it, I am sooo not immune to that kind of thing.

17. Andrew Johnson, here we go, also a national cemetery named after him, that was not a positive sign last time.

HOLY SHIT LOOK AT THAT THING. We got obelisk, we got GIANT EAGLE, we got amphorae, we got marble carved to look like paper for some reason. I'm developing a hypothesis that having a national cemetery named after you indicates a ridiculously ostentatious memorial. We'll see how it plays out. 3/10 too much, too busy. Nobody even likes Andrew Johnson that much anyways.

18. Ulysses S Grant, Mr. Fifty Bucks, you are KILLING ME, my dude. Like goddamn y'all it has A ROTUNDA. Got a real mini-church vibe going on in here, and I am not a fan. Ulysses, I like you, but holy shit, dude, tone it down. Plus, more ridiculous ghost eagles spirit world guardians in front. 4/10. Cool, but waaay overdoing it.

19. Rutherford B Hayes. I actually like this guy a little bit, I did a report about him in third grade. And you know what? Nice grave! Very humble! Pretty trees! 8/10!

20. James Motherfucker Garfield (not actually his middle name, probably). So we start out, it's obviously too much already, right? Goth castle vibes, but way overshoots the mark. That might be fine if that was all, I like the goth castle vibes.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! THAT IS A GODDAMN GILT ROTUNDA WITH ANGEL PAINTINGS. What's better than being buried in a goth castle with a gilt rotunda?

GIANT STATUE OF YOURSELF AND STAINED GLASS WINDOWS, OBVIOUSLY! Let us leave this awful place. Should have stopped after goth castle vibes, and make it like a one story building. 2/10. Just too too too much, completely misses the point of being a grave.

21. Chester A. Arthur. This one is weird, it feels like Dan Brown is trying to tell me something. We got a big old weird angel with either a giant feather or normal sized palm frond.

Cool coffin though, accessible, like you could touch it, but I bet you're probably discouraged from touching it. Also a weird choice in fonts for the plaque. And there's coins? Is that a thing? Wishing on a dead president like they were a fountain? Either way, 8/10 grave, very refreshing after Mr Garfield's Wild Ride.

22. Grover Cleveland, I dig it, it's nice and humble, nothing crazy going on. Still some neoclassicism with the amphora thing, but a good, solid grave marker. 6/10, could maybe actually do with a little MORE flare.

23. Benjamin Harrison, very chill grave. Some nice greenery, flag in the background, presidents are known to be big fans of flags. Got some writing on there that I can't quite make out, I'll call it a 7.5/10. Definitely a step up from Cleveland.

24. Okay we're gonna start with the inside with McKinley, I hate that Greek spiral motif on the plinth thing.

And the outside just gets worse!!! What are you doing, dude!!! There's a big ol' statue of him, too! Man, come on. You got shot by scrawny lil Leon Czolgosz. And P.S. we took your name off that mountain in Alaska, it's Denali again now, so get out of here. 3/10.

25. Theodore "Tedward" Roosevelt, a delightfully normal grave. We've got some nice greenery, a big black fence so we get a little bit of the goth vibes that are appropriate for an eternal resting place, simple headstone, no crazy obelisk. And it's outside! 9/10.

26. William Howard Taft, out in good old Arlington. Weird grave, the wings on the marker have a sort of Egyptian feeling, I think? And the gold letters are a little braggy. But at the foot of it, interestingly, not even going by his full name or initials, just "Will." 6/10.

27. Woodrow Wilson. Okay, I can't fault him for the big gaudy environment because he's literally in the National Cathedral (which I think I'm opposed to as even a concept, separate church and state). But really not a bad containment vessel, the mirrored relief script is cool to me. Frankly pretty good. 6.5/10.

28. Warren Goddamn Harding. And that IS his real middle name. I hate this thing so much. Warren Harding was the most corrupt piece of shit president we had (until recently). Inaugurated in 1921, then DIED in 1923, and spent the whole time putting his friends in cushy do-nothing federal jobs and taking bribes.

And he gets buried like an EMPEROR. Absolute garbage, 1/10 Mr. Harding, I've been holding that particularly low rating in reserve especially for you, you sonofabitch. And the neoclassicism is run completely rampant. It was the 1920s, we should have been past this by then.

29. Calvin Coolidge! Plain to the point of being boring. Honestly could do with some more spectacle. Like, I could walk by this and maybe have no idea this was a president. 4/10.

30. Oh look over there, that looks like a nice bench. Wanna have a sit-down and enjoy the view for a minute? Only if you wanna get your ass haunted by Herbert Hoover! Honestly, I kinda like it a lot, this is like the most modern grave style we've seen yet. Good job, 7.5/10.

31. Hey! It's F(ranklin) D(elano) R(oosevelt). Honestly, very nice grave, would love to be buried here. Unassuming, nice clean marble, quaint, but dignified. 7/10.

32. Oh another bench in front of some sort of visitor center? No way, man, that's Harry Truman! I do like this style of marker, just a big marble slab with stuff written on it. Definitely better than what us normals get these days of just like the little granite rectangle. 7/10 grave.

33. Dwight Eisenhower gets a little bit of a pass because his grave is also part of his presidential museum and library. But still, I mean, come on. Too Much for a grave site that only has one president in it. Like, the Adams boys back there had two presidents and their wives in a little cubby under a church. 4/10, Dwight.

34. Back to beautiful (really, this view is fantastic) Arlington National Cemetery for your boy John Fucking Kennedy. His middle name was actually Fitzgerald, but we're having fun here to ward off the cabin fever of quarantine. Very nice. Very simple. Just JFK and Jackie, and a fire that never goes out, lest it doom the Union. 8/10, super chill grave.

35. See that cemetery? Who's in there? Some president who liked to make reporters uncomfortable by literally swinging his giant dong at them? You got it! It's Lyndon B. Johnson! With his frankly pretty girthy headstone (on purpose?) and his Presidential Sprinkler Head. Seems good, not trying too hard, and really kind of subdued. Like, I have family members with graves like this. 6/10, could maybe do a little more.

37. Here's Tricky Dick out in Yorba Linda! The graves are on the grounds of Nixon's presidential library/museum. Couple of benches here, in case you want to sit for a while and revel in the fact that you outlived Richard Nixon. Pssst hey, Dick, I don't think being a peacemaker is really what people remember you for. Nevertheless, pleasant grave site. 7/10, nice place to hang out for eternity.

38. Gerald Ford! On the grounds of his presidential library and museum. A very cool grave site. More like an amphitheater of mortality. Not much in the way of individual markers (they are there, but just inset into the pavement). Very nice, subtle, tasteful, and unusual enough to be noteworthy. 8/10, good job to the Fords.

39. Ronald Reagan! Our second most recently deceased president! Simi Valley, CA, on the grounds of his presidential library and museum. Also definitely has that cool amphitheater vibe going on. Personally, I'd like some more greenery or something, but it's nice! 8/10 for Mr. Reagan.

40. Okay, here we go, last one. Our most recently deceased president of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush! On the grounds of his presidential library/museum in College Station, TX (you can tell it's his, because of the 'B'). Honestly it's kind of a throwback, fenced off familial plot kinda thing. The stonework on the ground is nice. There's a big presidential seal there. Pretty good. Let's call it a 7.5/10.

So there we go! There's a brief review and probably inconsistent rating of all our currently deceased US presidents. Hope you all had fun! Happy Inauguration Day!

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