Rapid City is sometimes called The City of Presidents because it proudly displays life sized bronzes of United States Presidents on the street corners of downtown. We strolled around the downtown taking pictures of and sometimes with each statue. I am not going to include them all in this post. If you want so see them all you’ll have to go yourself but suffice it to say this is an on-going project that will eventually included all of the presidents with new ones being added consecutively.
The project is funded entirely by private donations and each artist has ties to South Dakota in some way. . Each artist researched the president they were assigned to depict the familiar and/or notable characteristics of that president in their work.
Some of the older presidents were hard to identify. For example William McKinley is presented with a telephone in his hands because he was the first president to use the telephone in a campaign for office.
I did not know that so seeing the phone I thought of Alexander Graham Bell even though he was never president. I wondered if they were statues of famous people , not just presidents, especially since there were several statues of Native Americans, but I was wrong.
Using a map we picked up at the visitor center I believe I have identified all of the statues we visited.
1) James Monroe 2) John Quincy Adams 3) Lyndon Johnson 4) William Howard Taft 5)Martin Van Buren 6) John F. Kennedy ( I definitely recognized him as I’m from Massachusetts) 7) Andrew Jackson 8) Franklin Pierce 9) Theodore Roosevelt (another familiar face) 10) James Buchanan 11) Warren Harding 12) Woodrow Wilson (With a little discussion we also got his identity) 13) Millard Fillmore 14) Zachary Taylor 15) John Tyler 16) Harry S. Truman (Yes we recognized him too) 17) Henry Harrison 18) Gerald Ford (Another familiar face) 19)James Madison 20) Thomas Jefferson (We recognized Ol’ Tom with his copy of the Declaration of Independence) 21)George Washington (Of course. He has the most famous face in US history) 22) Jimmy Carter (Oh yes, we knew him too) 23) Andrew Jackson 24) Ronald Reagan (Yes we knew Ronnie’s statue) 25) Dwight D. Eisenhower (Yes again) 26) Richard Nixon (Of course) 27) James Polk 28) Grover Cleveland 29) William McKinley 30) Ulysses S. Grant (another yes) 31) Franklin D. Roosevelt (Yes) 32) Herbert Hoover 33)Calvin Coolidge 34) George Bush Sr (of course) 35) John Adams.
It was fun and challenging trying to ID all of the Presidents before we checked either the plaque or the map. I thought about making flash cards from the photos to practice so I will remember them but I’d rather just look it up. HA HA
It took quite awhile to walk all those blocks so we were glad to get back on the trolley.
The trolley continued through a park that we hadn’t even realized was there and then pulled into the Journey Museum. As we hopped off here the driver told us the last trolley was at 4:30 and not to miss that.
I’ll tell you about the Journey Museum in my next post.