George Mason Memorial, 900 Ohio Drive, in East Potomac Park, SW.
During my trip to Washington, D.C., I visited numerous statues/memorials including the George Mason Memorial. This memorial, located in East Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., honors George Mason, author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which inspired Thomas Jefferson while drafting the Declaration of Independence and especially the Bill of Rights. George Mason wrote the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights and later attended the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Mason persuaded our forefathers to include individual rights as a part of the Bill of Rights. He was sometimes known as "The Reluctant Statesman," which was also the title of a biography written about him by Robert A. Rutland.
Dedicated on April 9, 2002, the memorial consists of a bronze statue of Mason, set back in a landscaped grove of trees and flower beds, arranged around a circular pool and fountain. The sculpture is "very intimate, inviting." Mason appears in 18th-century garb, from buckled shoes to tricorn hat, seated on a marble bench with his legs crossed, but leaning backward on one arm and gazing off in the general direction of the Washington Monument. Two stone slabs are inscribed with some of Mason's words, i.e., referring to Mason's rejection of slavery, "that slow Poison, which is daily contaminating the Minds & Morals of our People."
The architect was Faye B. Harwell and the sculptor Wendy M. Ross. The memorial is managed by National Mall and Memorial Parks.
Hours: Always open, though rangers generally are not posted here.
Location: On Ohio Drive at the Tidal Basin, between the Jefferson and FDR memorials.
Transportation: Metro: Smithsonian, with a 20-minute walk.
Price: Free admission.