Usually, when people discuss “The Presidential Field” they’re talking about the array of politicians who are jockeying to win that position in the next election cycle. Or they might be talking about a spread of land in Croaker, Virginia where 43 giant heads are on display.
The display of twenty-foot-tall Presidential busts was created by Houston sculptor David Adickes for display in Williamsburg. They were the star attraction for Presidents Park, a tourist attraction designed by Adickes and Virginia real estate owner Haley Newman.
Any real estate owner, however, should have known to remember one of the first rules of property valuation: Location, location, location. Presidents Park was located in an area of Williamburg fairly distant from the other tourist sites, and was partially hidden from the road by a large motel.
They built it… and tourists didn’t come. The park went into foreclosure, and the statues had to be removed.
Rather than destroy the heads, though, Newman decided to just cart them ten miles away to some of his farmland. Shortly into the week-long project, they discovered just how difficult it can be to move giant busts, particularly if you’re in a hurry.
The statuary suffered damage. The worst of them is Lincoln, who had the rear of his head cracked open, leaving a gaping wound, in what may be one of the tackiest accidents ever. But others were chipped, scarred, and cracked during transit.
After transit, they’ve been sitting there, exposed to the elements. Tourism is restricted – that requires licensing in Virginia – but some intrepid photojournalists and videographers have gotten images of what can best be described as the hall of zombie Presidents.
And, because there’s no end to optimism, the pair tried again in South Dakota with different casts of the Presidents. For anyone who wanted to see more than Mount Rushmore, it was right there.
It’s shuttered now, too. As is the local effort by Adickes in his native Houston, Texas.
But, let’s be honest, giant Presidential heads just aren’t the same without zombification.
Question of the night: What’s your favorite roadside attraction?