Both the George Washington and the neighboring Rocket Thrower statues in Flushing Meadows Corona Park are by Boston sculptor Donald De Lue. Strictly speaking, George Washington was not created for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair, but made its first appearance in the park in 1959. In a city featuring many likenesses of Washington, this is the only Washington likeness on public grounds in Queens.
The statue was restored in 1999; appropriately, cherry trees now surround the sculpture. Washington is shown in a reproduction of a 1959 statue as First Master of the Alexandria, VA Masonic lodge, wearing his Masonic apron, one of the many symbolic talismans associated with Masonry. Not a few Masonic symbols appear on American currency, and many of the Founding Fathers were members of the “secret” society.
Today, the Grand Masonic Hall on Madison Avenue and West 23rd Street boasts some of the city’s most beautifully appointed interiors.