Illinois may be Lincoln country, but General Washington acquits himself rather well here, with the Heald Square Monument in the Chicago Loop and this piece on the city’s south side. It’s just outside of Washington Park, which is enormous and, true to its name, probably founded all the other parks in the city. This piece is a replica of a statue in Paris, given in 1900 by the Daughters of the American Revolution to the people of France. The replica was installed in 1902 and cost about $26,000.
The piece is notable for two reasons: one, because it was sculpted by Daniel Chester French, who also created perhaps the most famous presidential sculpture of them all, the Lincoln Memorial, and two, because – and maybe I’ve just read the Harry Potter books too many times – Washington’s sword looks like a magic wand. Seriously, doesn’t he look like he’s about to shout “alohomora!” and unlock the hell out of some doors?