Mount Rushmore National Memorial is one of the iconic spots that no traveller or tourist would miss if they are in South Dakota. It has also been a great inspiration for artists across the globe. David Adickes was one such artist who was in South Dakota, fascinated by the art. Though the sight enthralled him, he was disappointed that he couldn’t get a closer look at the statues. Being a sculptor himself, David decided to take things in his own hands and created heads of presidents, only, this was accessible to the visitors. His statue of Sam Houston was received well in 2003 at Huntsville, Texas. This encouraged David to further his idea to create his own President’s Park, which was located about 65 km away from Mount Rushmore. He created the heads of 43 presidents and replicated it to open two more parks in Virginia and Houston. However poor public reception caused the parks to be closed in 2010. What remains now is an abandoned park with the majority of statues behind locked gates.
President’s park before it was shut down (PC: A. Currell/Flickr)
Some busts like that of presidents John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Abraham Lincoln were transported to different sites. A visit to the abandoned park when you are in South Dakota would be interesting and make for a great stop if you are interested in photography!!
The busts in Virginia were taken in by contractor Howard Hankins. He transported it to his 400 acre farm in Croaker during which time, the bust were damaged. Howard is currently working with a couple of governments to rebuild the museum…