Virginia Washington Monument

VAWashingtonMonument_feature_CherylMiller_2015.jpg
Richmond, VA
United States
Virginia Washington Monument

Landscape Information

Washington Monument Sculpture Group; George Washington Equestrian Statue; George Washington Equestrian Monument

Located in Capitol Square, this 60-foot-tall monument with an 86-foot-diameter base occupies a prominent position on axis with the Executive Mansion near the Virginia State Capitol.  Thomas Crawford designed the large sculptural complex after winning a competition sponsored by the Virginia General Assembly in 1849.  Intended to honor George Washington and recognize notable Virginians Andrew Lewis, Patrick Henry, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and Thomas Nelson for their contributions to the American Revolution, the monument consists of three tiers of figurative statues.  At the top of the central granite pedestal is a nine-ton bronze sculpture of Washington atop a horse rearing on two legs and facing south. Below Washington on the middle tier are standing figures of the six Revolutionary heroes complemented by six smaller allegorical female figures on the bottom tier, each with an inscribed virtue.

Constructed between 1850 and 1869, only the statues of Washington, Jefferson, and Henry were completed by Crawford before he died in 1857.  The unveiling of the partially completed monument took place on Washington’s birthday, February 22, 1858, becoming the second equestrian statue of George Washington in the United States.  Sculptor Randolph Rogers was selected to complete the partially executed statues of Mason and Marshall, and to design the remaining figures.  Rogers completed the monument in 1869, encircled by an iron fence in the 1870s. Located in the northern quadrant of the twelve-acre Capitol Square, the monument is situated in a roundabout, anchoring the axial intersections of Grace Street and a pedestrian walkway.  The Virginia Washington Monument was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.