The giant screams.

Screaming Giant Leaves DC for MD

One of the strangest sculptures in Washington, DC, just got stranger.

The Awakening is a 70-foot-long, 17-foot-high, 2-ton aluminum giant that's been clawing its way out of the dirt at Hains Point since the days of Jimmy Carter. It is now gone. Its five oversized body parts were dug out of the ground on the morning of February 20th, hoisted onto flatbed trucks, and driven south to National Harbor, Maryland. That afternoon they were re-buried on a fake beach. The bearded giant will now serve as eye candy for a $2 billion "mixed use" development of expensive condos, stores, restaurants, and offices.

One of the giant's feet.

The Awakening's removal came as a shock to some, who assumed that public art belongs to the public. The political appointees who currently run the National Park Service, however, have made it clear for several years that there is no place in Washington for a screaming silver giant. There was even dark talk that foreign governments were ready to pay cash for the sculpture and spirit it out of the country.

That's when Milton Peterson, the billionaire developer of National Harbor, stepped in. He paid a reported $725,000 for The Awakening, built the fake beach next to his expensive mixed-use marina, and then re-buried the giant in it. Peterson feels that he has saved the sculpture for the people of Washington, who now need only drive a few miles south to his pseudo-mall to see it. Well-heeled restaurant patrons will be able to watch the sun set behind the giant's clawing hand or screaming face from their waterside tables.

As an added bonus, the new beach is larger than the giant's old spot on Hains Point, which means that his body parts are now placed in anatomically correct positions.

The Awakening is currently covered with a big tarp, awaiting National Harbor's grand opening in April.

[02/23/2008]

National Harbor

Address:
137 National Plaza, Oxon Hill, MD
Directions:
Where I-295 meets I-95/I-495 south of Washington, DC in Maryland. Follow the exit signs for National Harbor Blvd. Bear to the right, following the water. The Awakening is buried in the fake beach next to the National Harbor marina.
RA Rates:
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