George Washington Memorial

LOCATION
Washington Square Park, Pershing Road and Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, MO

OWNER
Kansas City Parks & Recreation Department

ARTIST
Henry Shrady (original), Roman Bronze Works (founder), Wight and Wight Architects (pedestal)

DATES
Dedicated Armistice Day (November 11) 1925, Rededicated Armistice Day 1932

MEDIUM
Bronze (sculpture), granite (base)

This statue of George Washington is a copy of the famous statue sculpted by Henry Shrady and located at the Brooklyn approach to the Williamsburg Bridge in New York City. It was formed at the Roman Bronze Works, which had cast the original statue. Wight and Wight Architects of Kansas City designed the pedestal. The statue is approximately 16 feet tall and 11 feet long and weighs approximately 11,000 pounds. It sits on top of a granite base that is itself 13 feet tall. There is a bench around the base.

The statue depicts General George Washington astride his horse at Valley Forge. Washington looks weary and his horse’s head is down to illustrate the sad days of that hard winter.

It was obtained through the fund-raising efforts of the Patriots and Pioneers Memorial Foundation. Fund-raising started on July 4, 1922, and by April 30, 1924, 109,000 people had offered contributions. Included in those contributions was $500 in pennies collected by local school children. The total cost of the sculpture was $35,000.