Creativity in the Bayou City

Who Needs Mount Rushmore When We've Got Mount Rush Hour?

Keep your eyes peeled for American Statesmanship Park next time you're near the I-10 and I-45 interchange.

By Emma Schkloven February 8, 2021 Published in the December 2020 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Image: Amy Kinkead

A Texas-sized version of one of our country’s most iconic monuments, the gigantic concrete busts of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Stephen F. Austin, and Sam Houston by famed Houston artist David Adickes have been delighting traffic-bound travelers as they inch down one of the Bayou City’s most notorious bottlenecks for almost a decade. Technically called American Statesmanship Park, its placement in the tiny, freeway-side First Ward park overlooking the I-10 and I-45 interchange has earned the iconic sculpture the nickname “Mount Rush Hour,” which, if you ask us, is way catchier.

At 18 feet tall and weighing about two tons each, the sculpted faces of two American Presidents and the duo of Texas Founding Fathers epitomize the cliché of all Texas clichés, that everything’s bigger in the Lone Star State. The base the quartet rests on bears the words “A Tribute to American Statesmanship.”

Though Adickes’s Texas-sized creation has been sitting beside the freeway since 2012 (it was actually created in 2008), it’s still being used to make social and political statements. Just this spring, another artist adorned these famous heads in super-sized, star-spangled face coverings as a reminder to mask up.

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