Presidents Park

Presidents Park opened in Williamsburg, Virginia in March of 2004.  The theme park was an open-air museum where visitors could walk among the 18-foot-tall presidential heads. The busts were built of concrete and showcased the first 43 Presidents of the United States, from Washington to George W. Bush.

 

Presidents Park
The concrete statues were sculpted by a Houston artist who was inspired to create them after passing Mount Rushmore.

Presidents Park was the brainchild of local landowner Everette “Haley” Newman and Houston sculptor David Adickes. The park, which cost about $10 million to create, closed in 2010 due to a lack of visitors. The park was surrounded in controversy for several years. Many thought it would take tourists from the other local attractions like Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown. Several Williamsburg city officials spoke out against Presidents Park, referring to it as “tacky” and a “sideshow.” Park owners disagreed and thought the park was a way to teach children about history as well as sculptures. Presidents Park permanently closed on September 30, 2010. Two years after closing, creditors put the property up for an auction; minus the statues.

 

Presidents Park
Instead of destroying the busts when the park went into foreclosure, the 43 statues were moved to a 400-acre farm. 
Presidents Park
Each statue weighs between 11,000 and 20,000 pounds.
Presidents Park
Moving the statues from the park to the farm was a weeklong process and cost roughly $50,000.
Presidents Park
Several of the statues were damaged during transport, including the back of Lincoln’s head.
Presidents Park
The current owner of the statues hopes to one day restore them and once again put them on display.
Presidents Park
Each bust had to be lifted from its base by crane, cracking the sculpture’s neck to get the full piece off the ground. The crane attached to a steel frame inside of the top of the sculpture’s head.
Presidents Park
The first few busts moved had broken noses and other structural issues. 

 

Republic Steel
Today, the president busts remain on the farm where they continue to crumble, peel and crack.

 

11 Replies to “Presidents Park”

  1. In 2006 , I moved to Virginia to care for my 5 year old great grandson. His mom was in the military and was transferred to a base in Hampton Roads. I took my gr grandson to this park, and to my amazement, he could identify almost all of the Presidents. He thought it was one of the coolest things he’d ever seen, and of course, I did too, because I was seeing it through his eyes. I’m truly sorry about what has happened to it and hope the new owners of the sculptures will be able to exhibit them some day.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: