The Houston Presidential Heads and giant Beatles sculptures
Location: Houston, Texas (Presidential heads are now at 2401 Nance St; Beatles sculptures are still at 2500 Summer St.)
When to visit: During daylight hours
Time needed: 10-15 minutes
Website: http://365thingsinhouston.com (unofficial)
It’s President’s Day! We as a nation often take the time to honor George Washington and Abe Lincoln, but let’s not forget the likes of Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, and Lyndon Johnson. Those dudes deserve to be celebrated too, and thanks to artist David Adickes, they have their own giant sculptures in Houston, Texas.
I visited Houston last fall and found the massive heads sitting in an empty parking lot behind a Target at 2500 Summer Street. There were dozens of heads, and it was easy to walk up and examine them up close. Not every president was represented, but most were, including everyone from Washington and Jefferson right up through George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
I had a chance to hang out with my buddy John Tyler. Gotta love those Whigs!
Sadly, since my visit a few months ago, the artist has apparently removed all of the presidents and relocated them inside a fenced-in private property at his new studio. You can still walk by and see them, but you’ll no longer be able to get close enough to look up Martin Van Buren’s nose, feel the bumps on Ulysses Grant’s necktie, or gently caress Andrew Jackson’s glorious updo.
I’m not sure why the artist chose to move the sculptures to a less-accessible place, but it could be because they weren’t entirely finished. A few of the sculptures were headless torsos, and a few of the heads didn’t have bodies. The upside of that unfinished quality was that quirky visitors could climb inside for a cool photo.
In any event, here’s hoping he finds a proper place to display these heads again, because they’re one of Houston’s quirkiest attractions.
In the meantime, though, you can still enjoy David’s giant Beatles sculptures. These were not moved from the Summer street location and remain there for gawkers and tourists to enjoy. See Ringo, George, Paul, and John (I believe I just became the first person ever to list Ringo first when naming the Beatles) in Sgt. Pepper-era garb as they play their instruments.
The Fab Four and the presidents once mingled together. Hopefully they can be reunited someday.