The iconic statue of George Mason on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus is scheduled to be moved June 15, to its new (temporary) home on Holton Plaza.
The move is necessary to make room for the reconstruction of the area of Wilkins Plaza adjacent to Robinson B, which itself will be demolished after the opening of Horizon Hall, expected for the spring 2021 semester.
The Mason statue will return to its usual place on Wilkins Plaza in late summer 2021.
The Mason clock, a gift from the Class of 1999 that was moved into storage in December 2018 to facilitate the expansion of Wilkins Plaza, is expected to make its reappearance in July, slightly north and east of its former location near David King Hall.
“Things are moving along pretty well although productivity has been reduced over the past several months due to COVID,” Cathy Pinskey, program director at Mason Facilities, said of the Core Campus Project, which is transforming the center of the Fairfax Campus.
Moving the Mason statue is fairly straightforward, Pinskey said.
After it is loosened from its base, the statue will be picked up by a forklift, be strapped in for safety and shuttled via Aquia Creek Lane and Patriot Circle, past EagleBank Arena to Holton Plaza.
There it will be placed on a newly constructed base.
Once the statue is replaced, it will be part of the memorial on Wilkins Plaza dedicated to the Enslaved People of George Mason.
That memorial, designed by landscape architects with Perkins & Will, in association with a diverse team of Mason faculty, staff and students, intertwines the narratives of two of Mason’s slaves: Penny, a 10-year-old girl, and James, Mason’s personal manservant.
At the base of the Mason statue will also be four quotes from Mason that explains his important and complex role in American history as the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and a slaveowner.