"Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
— Shelly, "Ozymandias"
Presidents Park was opened in 2004 in the town of Williamsburg, Virginia; a patriotic tourist attraction inspired by Mount Rushmore and featuring gigantic stone busts of all the Presidents of the United States. It was the brainchild of local landowner and entrepreneur Everette "Haley" Newman and a Texas sculptor, David Adickes. The 15-20 foot high Titan Presidents were indeed impressive, but because of a poor location, the site received little tourist traffic and lost money. The park was forced to close in 2010
The property was bought by a car rental dealership which wanted the megalithic executives removed; and for that purpose, hired Howard Hankins, a developer and road builder who had worked on the original park. Hankins felt it wouldn't be right to simply destroy the images, so he relocated them to a field on a farm he owned near the town of Croaker.
The moving process was difficult; each statue was between 15 and 20 feet high and weighed well over 10,000 pounds. They had originally been shipped in two parts but he had to move them in their assembled state. He wound up punching holes in the heads of the statues to attach a chain to the inner steel structure and then rocking each one back and forth to break it off its pedestal. As a result, none of the statues escaped damage of one kind or other. The bust of Abraham Lincoln has a huge hole in the back of his head; and the one of Ronald Reagan suffered damage from lightning.
Because his land isn't zoned for tourism, Hankins does not allow the public access to the statues. The Titan Presidents stand a lonely vigil in the farmer's field.
Game and Story Use
- The busts would be a creepy thing to encounter in a post-apocalyptic campaign.
- Do the heads serve some mystic purpose?
- Patriotic cultists want to steal the heads — or perhaps just certain ones — to perform a ritual that will affect the nation.
- And what's with Reagan getting struck by lightning?