A Virginia plantation owner, reluctant public servant, and author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, a document that helped inspire the American Declaration of Independence, and attendee at the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Mason was called by Thomas Jefferson “the wisest man of his generation” and regarded by George Washington as a mentor. He is widely hailed as an early champion of human rights and his writings helped inspire the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
The Mason Memorial was dedicated in April 2002, although the garden and fountain date back to 1905; the memorial was designed to incorporate those existing elements. Its centerpiece is a slightly larger-than-life bronze statue by Wendy M. Ross of Mason seated on a stone bench under a pergola. Ross depicted Mason in a very relaxed pose looking out over a garden and fountain. In his hand is a copy of Cicero’s De Officiis and on the bench next to him is his hat, staff, and books by Locke and Rousseau.1
Photos of the George Mason Memorial
There is often parking along West Potomac Point and East Potomac Park extending all the way along Hains Point. There are some small parking lots at the foot of the 14th Street Bridge that provide convenience parking a small parking lot on the eastern side of the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial. (This parking lot is closed off during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.) There’s much more parking on the opposite side of the Tidal Basin along the Potomac, extending all the way along Hains Point, including some convenient parking lots at the foot of the 14th Street Bridge.
Taking Photos at the George Mason Memorial
he Mason Memorial is accessible all day and night. There’s some lighting at night (but not a lot). There’s no problem using a tripod or flash.
In the early spring, there are several tulip magnolia trees that are especially striking when they’re in bloom (usually a week or two ahead of the cherry blossoms nearby. With low-hanging branches and appearing before the cherry blossoms, they’re a very good option if you’re looking for a colorful background to take family or portrait photos but are too early for the cherry blossoms.
Commercial photo shoots and filming may require a permit.
Washington DC Visitor Guides
If you're coming in from out of town, here are some of the most popular guidebooks that can help you make the most of your visit.
- Lonely Planet
- Publisher: Lonely Planet
- Elise Hartman Ford
- Publisher: FrommerMedia
- Stephan Van Dam, Illustrator, Editor
- Publisher: VanDam, Inc
- DK Travel
- Publisher: DK Eyewitness Travel
And here are some interesting options for less traditional guidesbooks if you'd like an emphasis on exploring DC on foot or diving into some of the region's very rich history.
- NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
- Barbara Noe Kennedy