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'The Awakening' Finds Permanent Home at National Harbor.

J. Seward Johnson's Five-Piece Sculpture to Rise from Potomac Shoreline in Spring 2008

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Peterson Companies is pleased and proud to announce the purchase of J. Seward Johnson's sculpture, "The Awakening" and its relocation from Hains Point to the shores of the Potomac River at National Harbor.

"The Awakening", a five-piece, cast aluminum sculpture more than 70 feet in length and 17 feet at its highest point, has been expressively rising from an earth-covered slumber at the tip of Hains Point since its installation in 1980 as part of an International city-wide public art exhibition. Since then, the piece has been on loan to the National Park Service, which manages the East Potomac Park property.

"I am delighted that the 'Giant' has at long last found a permanent home, particularly one that will provide him with such prominent and accessible accommodations," Mr. Johnson said. "I believe National Harbor is the perfect site for 'The Awakening,' and I hope generations of Washington-area residents and visitors will enjoy interacting with him along the banks of the Potomac."

According to The Sculpture Foundation, which owned the piece, the statue had been quietly available for sale for several years and interest in it had come from prospective buyers as far away as Japan. It was recently acquired by the Peterson Companies, whose founder and chairman, Milt Peterson is a longtime Washington-area developer and is currently developing National Harbor.

"'The Awakening' is a magnificent piece of public art, at the same time thought-provoking and fanciful," said Mr. Peterson. "We are thrilled to have it take up residence on the waterfront at National Harbor where it will be joined by all manner of public art, including three newly- commissioned pieces by Albert Paley. National Harbor is an entirely new city along the banks of a grand river, and it demands art that has energy, scale and grandeur of its own. We are thrilled to have that in 'The Awakening' and in Mr. Paley's work."

"Public art will help set the tone for the spirit of National Harbor," added Mr. Peterson.

"The Awakening" will be refurbished and moved to National Harbor in time for the spring 2008 opening of its first phase of development, which includes the 2,000-room Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center and portions of National Harbor's mile-and-a-quarter waterfront. The development's first residences, restaurants and other hotels also are scheduled to open later next year. National Harbor's landscaping, layout, lighting and fountains, as well as a prolific commitment to many genres and styles of public art, will contribute to the development's sense of place. The entire community will be brought to life throughout the year with festivals, music and more. Even National Harbor's main thoroughfare, American Way, a 3,000-foot promenade down the center of the property, is being designed as an homage to the American experience.

About "The Awakening"

Part of the 11th Annual International Sculpture Conference in 1980, which included the installation of 500 pieces of public art throughout Washington, D.C., "The Awakening" is a cast aluminum sculpture depicting the arousing of a bearded giant. The piece is actually five separate elements - head, hand, outstretched arm, bent knee and foot - arranged in such a fashion as to suggest that the giant is breaking free from the confines of the earth. Since the closing of the exhibit more than a quarter century ago, the sculpture has remained at its location by way of a loan agreement between The Sculpture Foundation and the National Park Service.

About National Harbor

Rising from the banks of the Potomac just south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Prince George's County, Md., National Harbor is a 300-acre, mixed- used development that will include five hotels (including the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center), thousands of residential units, tree-lined promenades with scores of shops and offices, a marina and much more. Created by Washington, D.C.-area developer, The Peterson Companies, the project will command a mile and a quarter of the Potomac.

About The Peterson Cos.

The Peterson Companies and its affiliates have had a major impact on real estate development in the Washington, DC, area for more than 30 years. The firm is one of the largest privately owned development companies in the region.

CONTACT: Jon Newman of The Hodges Partnership, +1-804-788-1414, jnewman@hodgespart.com, for The Peterson Companies
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 23, 2007
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