Former President George H.W. Bush is, and will continue to be, one of the greatest public figures in Houston’s history. To commemorate his role in shaping the historic world events that defined his Presidency, to celebrate his enduring relationship with and support for the City of Houston, and to educate current and future generations about his career and accomplishments, the George Bush Statue Foundation was created to install a statue of the former President in Sesquicentennial Park on the site formerly known as Fondren Garden. Presented to the people of Houston on December 2, 2004, it features an eight-foot bronze sculpture of the former president by artist Chas Fagan of Charlotte, North Carolina and a semicircular wall of four bas-reliefs by Houston artist Wei-li "Willy" Wang that depict President Bush as a Navy pilot in World War II; as a Houston oilman and member of Congress; with Mikhail Gorbachev in managing the peaceful end of the Cold War; and with wife Barbara attending the Inaugural of their oldest son as 43rd president.
The project cost $1.7 million, and all funds were raised through private donations. The budget included the cost of commissioning and placing the sculpture, as well as preparing, landscaping and lighting the site. A maintenance fund, totaling ten percent of the cost of commissioning and placing the sculpture was included in the budget, as required by and deposited with the City of Houston’s Municipal Arts Commission. Also included is an additional endowment of $100,000 to be left permanently in the George Bush Statue Foundation at the Houston Community Foundation.
The George Bush Statue is a public/private partnership.