Presidents Park was originally a 10-acre outdoor sculpture park along with an indoor museum in Southeastern Virginia. The 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 statues were sculpted by a Houston artist who was inspired to create them after passing Mount Rushmore on a return trip from Canada.
Presidents Park was surrounded in controversy 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.
Presidents Park had financial troubles including low attendance numbers. The park closed on September 30, 2010. Two years later, creditors put the park up for 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.