Press Release

The Awakening at National Harbor Will Undergo Restoration This Summer

National Harbor will spend over $70,000 on iconic statue’s repairs

The Awakening (Photo courtesy Bendure Communications, Inc.)

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD-When National Harbor opened 16 years ago, developer Milt Peterson was committed to making art accessible. He wanted the destination to have a collection that was engaging to visitors of all ages. Therefore, when the late founder and chairman of Peterson Companies, developer of National Harbor was alerted that J. Seward John’s “The Awakening” was placed up for sale, he seized the opportunity to purchase. The 5-piece, 72-foot cast aluminum sculpture depicts a distressed giant emerging from the earth and currently sits in the sand on the waterfront at National Harbor (153 National Plaza).

After being in Metro Washington D.C., Peterson wanted to keep the beloved piece local and purchased it for $740,000. In February 2008, months before National Harbor’s opening, “The Awakening” was moved from Hains Point to National Harbor. A specially built beach was created along the Potomac River to allow visitors to interact with the art. He wanted the piece to be in the heart of National Harbor, where it would have the highest engagement. After years of being climbed on, photographed, and the summer sun, it is need of a shin replacement.

As the stewards of the beloved sculpture, National Harbor has committed $70,000 to repair the shin. “The Awakening is a signature piece of our outdoor art here at National Harbor that we want to make sure visitors can enjoy for years to come,” said Kent Digby, EVP Asset Management, Operations, and Marketing. “Many visitors come to National Harbor just to see this sculpture. Milt loved watching children engage with The Awakening.”

After 43 years, it’s understandable that “The Awakening” needs some love. National Harbor has committed to hiring The Seward Johnson Atelier, the late sculptor’s foundation, to commence the repairs. The section of the leg to be replaced is currently being cast and the restoration is expected to take place in June. The replacement process should take about a week to complete, during that time the statue will be closed to the public.

The National Harbor art collection consists of a number of sculptures commissioned from nationally and internationally known artists Albert Paley, John Lopez and local artist Cheryl Foster, Steven Weitzman and others. An interactive guide to the art collection is accessible by texting ACNH to 56512.

For more information on National Harbor, visit

# # #

About National Harbor

Situated on the banks of the historic Potomac River and just minutes from the nation’s capital, National Harbor is a waterfront resort destination unlike any other. National Harbor is home to two of Maryland’s Four Diamond rated hotels—Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, the East Coast’s largest non-gaming hotel and convention center and has almost 2,000 hotel rooms and 660,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, MGM National Harbor, an integrated luxury casino resort with renowned chef-driven restaurants, a 3,000-seat state-of-the art theater and one of the largest gaming floors outside of Las Vegas. The vibrant Waterfront District features boutique shops, restaurants and entertainment options along picturesque promenades. The iconic Capital Wheel, a 180-ft observation wheel, Tanger National Harbor offers 85 designer outlet stores, and a robust calendar of events round out this destination that welcomes more than 15.2 million visitors a year. For more information, visit

About The Seward Johnson Atelier

The Seward Johnson Atelier expands the capacity of artists through immersive making and creative collaboration – producing and preserving works of art and design and creating cultural experiences to enrich communities and inspire engagement and was incorporated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; particularly, to promote the appreciation of, and education about, sculpture and public art in general, primarily thorough the creation, maintenance, sales and public placement of J. Seward Johnson, Jr.’s artwork.

[SEE ALSO: Northern Virginia Solar Energy Program Celebrating 10 Years]

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button