Approval in Congress
In February of 1992, the Board of Regents of Gunston Hall won a victory in Congress, where the location for their memorial was approved. This was the beginning of a ten-year journey to establish a memorial for a forgotten founding father. According to Virginia law, “the Board of Regents of Gunston Hall (Board of Regents) is established as an educational institution to manage, maintain, and operate Gunston Hall and accept and administer gifts of real and personal property made for the benefit of Gunston Hall.” The foremost descriptor of the group is as an educational institution, meaning their main goal is to educate the public about George Mason. In their eyes, what better way than a memorial of his likeness? They sought a place to memorialize him near some of the most famous men in our country’s history: the National Mall. The National Mall is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country. Each year, 25 million people visit the National Mall, which is more than Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon combined. So, it’s clear to see the Board of Regents of Gunston Hall would have been very excited they were able to secure such a high-profile area for their memorial. The next step would be to find a sculptor and plan the design. The choice would be easy, as there is already a statue in existence designed by Wendy M. Ross.