A trip to London to visit friends provided the opportunity for a Nerd Trips scavenger hunt for some American presidents, actually statues of American presidents, scattered across the city. (One president has two statutes – can you guess which one?)
My friend Mark likes to walk and explore, but his wife and daughter declined to accompany us on this excursion because, quite honestly, it was going to be a lot of walking. Three hours later, they were glad they stayed home.
You can nab three presidents just by visiting the American embassy, so that’s where we started – Grovesnor Square.**
We first came upon President Eisenhower, standing tall in puffy coat and power stance. He’s looking more like General Eisenhower than President Eisenhower.
Look at his crisp hat and military garb. Eisenhower’s role in Europe in World War II would certainly make him memorable to the Brits. The base of the statue shares Eisenhower’s words on D-Day, “You are about to embark on a great crusade…the hopes and prayers of liberty- loving people everywhere march with you.”
Another side features a quote from Eisenhower’s first inaugural address.
Just across the plaza, you’ll find a more recent president: Ronald Reagan. With so many statues of kings and queens around the city, it seems somewhat strange to see a statue in a modern business suit. President Reagan looks very pleased standing tall in the plaza. At the base of the statue, someone put a sign that said, “Please send the world another Ronald Reagan.” This was in the summer of 2014.
Near the statue, there is a piece of the Berlin Wall that Mr. Reagan so famously told Mr. Gorbachev to tear down.
Our final president in Grovesnor Square was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, looking solemn with his cane hidden strategically beneath his cloak.
While you’ll find the Reagan statue closer to the ground, FDR stands on a very tall pedestal. He stands out on the plaza, while Eisenhower and Reagan are located close to the embassy itself.
Grosvenor Square was just our first stop, we headed next toward Westminster Abbey to pick up a president who never left the shores of the United States. More about that in our next post, as well as another FDR statue, one that also features a famous friend and ally.
**Coincidentally, just a few weeks after I published this posted, I took a trip to Quincy, Massachusetts to see the homes of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams. While there, I learned that Abigail Adams joined her husband when he was the first minster to England (1785-1788). They lived in a large house on Grovesnor Square, still home to the American embassy where we found all the statues! I love making those connections, although I wish I had known when I was there. I didn’t know to look for the house! It doesn’t have a blue plaque that I am so found of. If you go to Grovesnor Square, don’t forget the Adams house.