American Statesmanship Park - Houston, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Raven
N 29° 46.288 W 095° 22.014
15R E 271163 N 3295810
Quick Description: A tiny (1/3 of an acre) county park at the edge of downtown Houston, Texas. Its main attraction are four giant concrete busts of notable historical figures rising up from within the park, highly visible from two nearby interstate highways.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 3/19/2015 12:10:33 PM
Waymark Code: WMNHR6
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 0

Long Description:
American Statesmanship Park, a.k.a. "Mount Rush Hour", was donated to Harris County Precinct 2 in November 2012. Its main attraction are four 18 foot tall concrete busts made by Houston artist David Adickes representing Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

As best described by a September 5, 2013 newspaper in the "Houston Chronicle":

"Four large heads nicknamed "Mount Rush Hour" rise along an edge of downtown Houston from within what may be the most seen and least visited park in Texas.

About 3 million cars and trucks a week whiz by the 18-foot concrete busts of hallowed heroes Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

American Statesmanship Park is just a third of an acre in size, making it the smallest of Harris County's nearly 190 parks.

It was designed to be a visible point of interest for motorists at the bottleneck of Interstate 10 and 45, but not a picnic spot. The grass is mowed and the towering heads are clean, but the park, which was donated to the county [in 2012], is void of benches, swings or even a trash can.

There are four banks of lights to illuminate the statues. They are flanked by trails leading into nearby woods where homeless people live, and ringed by a sidewalk that once bordered a church that closed after it was flooded by Tropical Storm Allison in 2001.

There are no signs denoting how to get to the 50-by-100-foot park, which is tucked away in a gentrifying neighborhood on Elder Street, where new town homes share blocks with boarded-up shacks.

The heads, which soar to 24 feet on their bases, are reinforced with steel and weigh about 7,000 pounds each.

They are the works of artist David Adickes, who also created the 67-foot statue of Sam Houston that stands vigil over I-45 just outside of Huntsville. The two Sam Houston heads are the same size. Each came from the same mold.

Adickes bought the plot where the heads were installed in 2008 because he wanted a spot where people would see them. He recalls the abandoned church, which he bought from a family, had a waterline mark 5 feet high.

The heads, which are white, each took about six weeks to make. They sit atop the hefty black bases designed to make the statues more visible but also tougher to climb up.

Per Adickes: "Public art has to be visible, and the closer to a major artery it is the better. It has to be seen. If you put it on a back road somewhere, not many people will see it, and it loses its impact."

Adickes, who came up with the Mount Rush Hour nickname, later sold the project to a collector who donated it to Harris County. The county spends about $60 a month on electricity for the park and another $2,000 a year to keep the grass mowed."
Name: American Statesmanship Park

Street Location: 1400 Elder St.

Local Municipality: Houston, Harris County

State/Province, etc.: Texas

Country: USA

Web Site: [Web Link]

Memorial/Commemoration: A tribute to American Statesmanship

Date Established: 2012

Picnic Facilities: none

Recreational Facilities:

Monuments/Statues: 4 giant concrete busts of Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington

Art (murals/sculpture, etc.): "A tribute to American Statesmanship" by David Adickes

Fountains: none

Ponds/Lakes/Streams/Rivers/Beach: none

Special Events: none

Traditional Geocaches:

Visit Instructions:
One photo of the park that is a different view from the one on the page, and give the date and description your visit.

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Raven visited American Statesmanship Park - Houston, TX 3/15/2015 Raven visited it