Restoration of George Mason MemorialProject at a Glance
- Start Date
Projected fall 2018
Trust for the National Mall
$400,000 - NPS Centennial Challenge Program $400,000
$400,000 - Trust for the National Mall
The George Mason Memorial is closed for the duration of the project
The National Park Service and the Trust for the National Mall have begun a restoration of the George Mason Memorial, located in East Potomac Park near the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The yearlong project will include reconstruction of the central fountain, adding perennial plantings throughout the site and a thorough touch-up to the George Mason statue, trellis, and inscriptions.
The $800,000 project is funded through a public-private partnership between the two organizations, with half of the funding provided by an appropriation from the National Park Service Centennial Challenge program, and an equal match from the Trust for the National Mall through generous donors including the Dr. Scholl Foundation and others. Since 2015, the National Park Service has used over $45 million in funding from Congress through the Centennial Challenge program to attract more than $77 million from partner organizations in support of hundreds of projects across the country that have improved visitor services and strengthened partnerships to reinvigorate national parks.
Dedicated in 2002, the George Mason Memorial commemorates the contributions of an important, but often forgotten, Founding Father whose Virginia Declaration of Rights influenced both the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution. The primary features of the memorial include a bronze statue of George Mason seated below a 72- foot-long trellis, and a fountain situated among gardens originally planted in the late 19th century.
In the 15 years since the memorial’s completion, the central fountain, which lacks a circulation system, has become plagued with algae blooms and costly maintenance. In addition, the extensive planting beds have been worn down and can no longer support the elegant plantings that have long defined the site. The new plantings and perennial gardens will commemorate Mason’s love of gardens.
The renovation work will modify the fountain to allow water to be filtered and re-circulated, improving the water quality and reducing the number of times the fountain needs to be drained and cleaned each year. Additional work to be completed includes refurbishing the bronze statue of George Mason; installing approximately 50 feet of new post and chain fencing; repairing the concrete sidewalk; cleaning the memorial’s masonry; repairing paving joints; and painting the post and chain fencing.