My hometown of Washington is famous for its memorials and monuments. However, there are dozens of outdoor statues and memorials scattered throughout the city which few non-residents know about. Following are five of my favorite secret statues of Washington, DC.
1. The Awakening – This remarkable artwork had been located for years at Hains Point, but was recently moved to the newly built National Harbor. Regardless of its location, it remains a fascinating piece of sculpture. The Awakening is a 100-foot statue of a giant embedded in the earth, struggling to free himself and consists of five separate aluminum pieces buried in the ground, giving the impression of a panicked giant trying to pull himself to the surface. To see The Awakening head to National Harbor, right across the river in Maryland.
2. Titanic Memorial – This is my favorite hidden statue and very few people know about it. The memorial is dedicated specifically to the men of the Titanic who gave their lives to save women and children and was erected in 1931 by the Women’s Titanic Memorial. Association. I love this statue because it overlooks the water on the SW DC waterfront and since no one knows about it, is a very quiet and solemn place, as it should be. So head down to the waterfront for some fresh crab cakes and walk to the memorial on your way back for your own special Washington moment. The memorial is located on P Street SW next to the Washington Channel .
3. Kryptos – This statue is about a secret, rather than being one. Regardless, it’s pretty cool. Located on the grounds of the CIA in Langley, Kryptos has been a source of consternation and intrigue since its dedication in 1990 . There are four main sections of the sculpture, each containing separate encrypted messages, of which one is still a mystery. UNFORTUNATELY, you really can’t visit the statue, as it is on CIA grounds. The CIA directs people instead to the virtual tour located here.
4. Man Controlling Trade – This statue is not hidden if you drive into work everyday, but may escape the notice of the casual observer. The pair of statues are located at the Federal Trade Commission headquarters at Pennsylvania Avenue and 6th Streets NW. In 1938, Michael Lantz won a national competition, which was the largest American sculpture competition at the time. Each sculpture shows a heroic figure straining to control a powerful horse and are truly awe-inspiring as you stand in front of them.
5. Boy Scout Memorial – Located in President’s Park near the White House and the Ellipse, this is one of the few statues in Washington commemorating a living cause. It sits on the site of the first Boy Scout Jamboree in 1937 and was unveiled in 1967. The statue is comprised of three figures, Manhood, Womanhood and the Boy Scout who is leading them into the future. The Boy Scout Memorial is notable for its superb location, which is a treat to wander around on a warm, spring day.
To see these statues and others on your own, follow this tour that I put together: