6. The ‘floating’ bust of President Roosevelt weighs over 1,000 pounds
The larger-than-life bust of Franklin D. Roosevelt begins to appear through the trees as you make your way down one of the paths from the entrance to the southern end of the park. Weighing in at 1,050 pounds, the sculpture is entirely suspended from the back, so that the head appears floating in front of the horizon, anchored at the southern tip of the park. The bronze bust also receives a wax treatment twice a year in order to maintain the soft, smooth finish and protect it from the outdoor elements. (You can actually touch the sculpture to get a feel for its texture yourself.)
The original clay bust of President Roosevelt was created by the sculptor Jo Davidson upon invitation to the White House in 1933. This original life-sized bust, upon which the Four Freedoms Park statue is based, was recovered from the late sculptor’s studio in France after his death. It was brought to the United States so that it could be recreated in its enlarged form as the centerpiece of Four Freedoms Park.