Marble Andrew Johnson.

Marble Andrew Johnson

Field review by the editors.

Greeneville, Tennessee

1956 was a busy year for Edgar W. Bowlin. Not only was he completing the wax heads for the Hall of Presidents in Gettysburg, he was sculpting a heroic-size marble figure of Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the U.S.

The Andrew Johnson statue was paid for by a local bank, which envisioned it as a centerpiece for the lobby of its new building in Greeneville, Johnson's hometown. With towering Greek columns, 30-foot-high windows, and the President, the bank was hailed as a worthy tourist attraction, "the South's most beautiful financial building."

Marble Andrew Johnson.

Bowlin sculpted Johnson's left hand wrapped tightly around a rolled-up document, probably a copy of his beloved U.S. Constitution. His right hand is curled into a fist, ready to clock the next Congressman who tries to impeach him.

When Marble Johnson was unveiled on October 12, 1956, he looked out over a downtown that had only one other Johnson tribute: the Shrine built around his former tailor shop. Today the statue gazes out at not only the Shrine, but at a replica of his birthplace, a bronze outdoor statue, an Andrew Johnson National Historic Site Visitor Center, and the restored home from his humble tailoring days.

Andrew Johnson has done far better than the bank, which packed up and moved out years ago. The building that shelters the marble statue is now occupied by the county Chamber of Commerce.

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Also see: Tributes to a Traitor President

Marble Andrew Johnson

Greene County Chamber of Commerce

Address:
115 Academy St., Greeneville, TN
Directions:
Greene County Chamber of Commerce. East side of downtown, at the east end of E. Depot St., where it curves left and becomes Academy St. The statue is inside the glass-sided portico of a Greek-columned building, which is easily visible from the street.
Hours:
M-F 8:30-5 (Call to verify)
Phone:
423-638-4111
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Andrew Johnson National Historic SiteAndrew Johnson National Historic Site, Greeneville, TN - < 1 mi.
Andrew Johnson's Backwards BirthplaceAndrew Johnson's Backwards Birthplace, Greeneville, TN - < 1 mi.
Bronze Andrew JohnsonBronze Andrew Johnson, Greeneville, TN - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Bush's Beans Museum, Dandridge, TN - 33 mi.

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August 25, 2019

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