Presidents Park opened in March 2004, by a local attraction entrepreneur. Presidents Park showcased concrete busts of the first 43 Presidents of the United States from George Washington to George W. Bush. The 18-foot tall President statues were sculpted by a Houston artist who was inspired to create them after passing Mount Rushmore on a return trip from Canada.
There was controversy around Presidents Park for over three years. Many thought it would take tourists away from Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown. Several Williamsburg city officials spoke out calling the attraction “tacky” and a “sideshow.”
The owner of Presidents Park disagreed and thought it would be a way to teach children about sculptures as well as history. The park suffered from financial troubles, including low attendance numbers before permanently closing on September 30, 2010. Two years later, creditors put the property up for an auction; minus the statues.
By January 2013, the enormous busts had been moved to a farmer’s field for storage. Several of the statues were damaged during transport, including the back of Lincoln’s head. The new owner dreams of one day restoring the statues and opening another park to display them.