An open field in Croaker, Va. is home to a lot more than grass and birdsong. In fact, 43 stately, larger-than-life presidential heads populate the field.
Everyone from JFK and Teddy Roosevelt to George Washington and Abe Lincoln sit out in the elements, clumped together in an informal display.
All of these 15-20-foot-tall busts were once housed at a place called President’s Park near Colonial Williamsburg. The 10-acre park allowed visitors to stroll between the heads and experience the presidential past.
The artist, David Adickes, sculpted them after seeing Mount Rushmore and feeling a rush of inspiration. He told the Washington Post in 2011, “I just like big…I’m a Texan. Big is impressive.”
The park opened in 2004 but didn’t get the kind of traffic the owners needed to keep it going.
In 2010, the owners grew tired of keeping up the park and hired Howard Hankins to take them away. They originally wanted Hankins’ concrete recycling company to crush them.
Hankins couldn’t let that happen so he spent $50,000 to lug the 20,000-pound heads to his patch of land in Croaker, Va.
Now the heads sit in odd patterns with no particular order. A revealing article in the DCist notes that George W. Bush sits between Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt.
The field isn’t open to the public and a handful of years out in the elements have left some of the busts looking weathered and crumbling. George Washington’s nose could use some work and the top of FDR’s head is missing.
Hankins normally doesn’t allow visitors so it’s hard to get a peak at this strange piece of land.
Hankins hopes to find a new home for this slice of presidential history. But for now, their crumbling faces look forward as though waiting for a verdict on their fate.