Bronze statue of McKinley with a phone to his ear (he was the first President to use the telephone to campaign).
City of Presidents
In the year 2000, Rapid City launched the City of Presidents project on the initiative of Don Perdue, former history teacher and a fan of art. The plan was to install the statues of all 40 past presidents on downtown street corners over a 10-year period, at the speed of four statues per year, to promote pride in the heritage of our country.
The first year, the project began with the first two and the last two presidents: George Washington, John Adams, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. (Clinton was still in office at the time). Every year after that, two presidents from the earlier years and two from the modern years were added.
On 9 October 2010 the last statues of the past presidents were unveiled. These three, Chester Arthur, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, should be placed on their corners later that month, however they were not placed yet on the 20th of October, when we were there, so these statues are missing on our site. Now that
all past presidents are pictured, the pace will slow dramatically to include one president every four to eight years. Presidents will have a statue made after they have left office.
The sculptures were created by five South Dakota artists, Edward E. Hlavka (H), Lee Leuning & Sherri Treeby (LT), John Lopez (L), James Michael Maher (M), and James Van Nuys (VN). The design and critique of each of the presidents are in collaboration with the members of the foundation, and the other artists.
Click here for a interactive map with the locations of the statues.
Chronological list of the statues:
Chronological list of the presidents:
- George Washington (LT), John Adams (L), Ronald Reagan (M), George H. W. Bush (H)
- Thomas Jefferson (H), James Madison (LT), Gerald Ford (M), Jimmy Carter (L)
- James Monroe (LT), John Quincy Adams (L), Lyndon Johnson (M), Richard Nixon (H)
- Martin Van Buren (H), Andrew Jackson (M), Dwight Eisenhower (LT), John F. Kennedy (L)
- William H. Harrison (L), John Tyler (LT), Harry Truman (M)
- Calvin Coolidge (L), Herbert Hoover (M), James Polk (LT)
- Warren G. Harding (L), Woodrow Wilson (M), Zachary Taylor (LT), Franklin D. Roosevelt (H)
- Millard Fillmore (VN), Theodore Roosevelt (L), James Buchanan (LT), Franklin Pierce (VN), William Howard Taft (LT)
- U.S. Grant (L), Andrew Johnson (VN), William McKinley (LT), Grover Cleveland (M)
- Abraham Lincoln (M), Rutherford B. Hayes (LT), James Garfield (L) (?), Benjamin Harrison (L) (?)
- Chester Arthur (L), Bill Clinton, George W. Bush (M)
- George Washington, 1789-1797, by Leuning & Treeby, 2000
- John Adams, 1797-1801, by Lopez, 2000
- Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809, by Hlavka, 2001
- James Madison, 1809-1817, by Leuning & Treeby, 2001
- James Monroe, 1817-1825, by Leuning & Treeby, 2002
- John Quincy Adams, 1825-1829, by Lopez, 2002
- Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837, by Maher, 2003
- Martin Van Buren, 1837-1841, by Hlavka, 2003
- William Henry Harrison, 1841, by Lopez, 2004
- John Tyler, 1841-1845, by Leuning & Treeby, 2004
- James Knox Polk, 1845-1849, by Leuning & Treeby, 2005
- Zachary Taylor, 1849-1850, by Leuning & Treeby, 2006
- Millard Fillmore, 1850-1853, by Van Nuys, 2007
- Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857, by Van Nuys, 2007
- James Buchanan, 1857-1861, by Leuning & Treeby, 2007
- Abraham Lincoln, 1861-1865, by Maher, 2009
- Andrew Johnson, 1865-1869, by Van Nuys, 2008
- Ulysses Simpson Grant, 1869-1877, by Lopez 2008
- Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 1877-1881, by Leuning & Treeby, 2009 ?
- James Abram Garfield, 1881, by Lopez, 2009 (?)
- Chester Alan Arthur, 1881-1885, by Lopez, 2010
- Grover Cleveland, 1885-1889, by Maher, 2008
- Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893, by Lopez, 2009 (?)
- Grover Cleveland, 1893-1897, by Maher, 2008
- William McKinley, 1897-1901, by Leuning & Treeby, 2008
- Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1909, by Lopez, 2007
- William Howard Taft, 1909-1913, by Leuning & Treeby, 2007
- Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1921, by Maher, 2006
- Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1921-1923, by Lopez, 2006
- Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929, by Lopez, 2005
- Herbert Clark Hoover, 1929-1933, by Maher, 2005
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933-1945, by Hlavka, 2006
- Harry S. Truman, 1945-1953, by Maher, 2004
- Dwight David Eisenhower, 1953-1961, by Leuning & Treeby, 2003
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1961-1963, by Lopez, 2003
- Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1963-1969, by Maher, 2002
- Richard Milhous Nixon, 1969-1974, by Hlavka, 2002
- Gerald Rudolph Ford, 1974-1977, by Maher, 2001
- James Earl Carter, Jr., 1977-1981, by Lopez, 2001
- Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981-1989, by Maher, 2000
- George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989-1993, by Hlavka, 2000
- William Jefferson Clinton, 1993-2001, 2010
- George Walker Bush, 2001-2009, by Maher, 2010
- Barack Hussein Obama, 2009- (No statue yet)
- Lee Leuning and Sherri Treeby,
American sculptors who formed the art studio, Bad River Artworks in Aberdeen, South Dakota
Sources & Information
Location (N 44°4'49" - W 103°13'23")
Item Code: ussd33; Photograph: 20 October 2010
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt