The George Mason Memorial, located in East Potomac Park near the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, commemorates the neglected contributions of an important Founding Father. George Mason was the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which served as an inspiration to Thomas Jefferson while drafting the Declaration of Independence. Mason later served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. Mason also withheld his signature from the United States Constitution because it did not abolish the slave trade and felt it lacked necessary protection for the individual from the federal government.
Including a tasteful memorial to George Mason within the already established "Pansy Garden" allowed for the upgrading of the existing landscape. The simple additions of a trellis, benches, and a seated statue of George Mason are not obtrusive to the older garden, and in fact give it a more historical significance. The overall modestly elegant design of the memorial reflect Mason's unpretentious character and the location selected, near the Jefferson Memorial, is symbolic to the close association the two men had concerning civil rights.
The 72 foot long trellis curves around the back of the memorial and allows it to co-exist with the circular hedges and pool, as well as the plant patterns. The trellis is only nine feet tall so as not to dominate the garden. The three walls underneath it are four feet tall and inscribed with some of Mason's most insightful writings. In proportion to these features is the lifesize bronze statue of Mason sculpted by Wendy Ross. The statue depicts Mason sitting casually on the center bench, with two bronze books on one side and his tri-corner hat and walking stick on the other. His expression is contemplative and inviting.
Since the memorial's dedication on April 9, 2002, visitors enjoyed quiet strolls in the garden, enjoying the beautiful annual flowers and learning about the man responsible for the first Bill of Rights.
The following inscriptions appear on the George Mason Memorial:
Stones and Mortar
Last updated: December 6, 2023