An unlikely grouping, the gigantic busts of George Washington, Andrew Jackson, and Abe Lincoln hold the place of honor in front of the Presidents Heads.
Howard Hankins, the current owner of the heads, was hired initially to run them through his concrete cruncher and dispose of the waste material at his materials resource recycling plant. He did not have the heart to destroy these sculptures, obtaining permission to keep them instead. These giant busts now reside on his private property, although he allows a few opportunities for the public to visit them each year.
One of the questions people ask when visiting these giant heads: Why is Andrew Jackson front and center instead of Thomas Jefferson? To which Howard Hankins responds: “Jackson has awesome hair and cool epaulets on his uniform! Besides, I’m not a University of Virginia fan.” LOL (Thomas Jefferson was the founder of the University of Virginia)
Exposed to the elements, cracked and crumbling in various stages of deterioration, they are surrounded by heavy equipment in an apocalyptic industrial wasteland where the mold and moss adds character and awesomeness to the entire experience. Once part of an educational park called President’s Park in Williamsburg, Virginia, these giant heads stand 20 to 22 feet tall, with each one weighing somewhere between 15 to 20 tons. There are 42 heads in all; the collection ended with George W. Bush when the park closed in 2010 due to the recession.
Copyright 2020 Susan Rissi Tregoning
February 18th, 2020
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