Italian Marble, 13 X 10 X 6.5 inches
In Washington D.C. there is a set of grand steps rising up from the waters of the Potomac River to the Lincoln Memorial. They were designed in 1902 and built in 1930. The steps were originally intended for ceremonious arrivals of dignitaries and heads of States coming to the Capitol by boat or barge, to ascend from the river to the land above, to a new democracy. 

These steps were known as the Watergate to the U.S. Capitol. However, in 1974 the name Watergate takes on an additional meaning, synonymous with a group of buildings, built along the Potomac, and a political scandal that pressured a United States President to resign.

The steps of the sculpture WATERGATE lead to a black house that looks somewhat like a tomb. The house appears to be fracturing and sinking into the muddy bank of the river. The boats are scuttled upon shore, upside down, unable to move for entry or exit from the watergate.
Watergate now appears in dictionaries with more than one meaning:


  1. a gate of a town or castle opening on to a lake, river, or sea,
  2. a sluice, a FLOODGATE,
  3. a scandal that involves officials violating public trust through subterfuge, bribery, burglary, and other abuses of power in order to maintain positions of authority.

"..[Political parties] become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominions."

Farewell address
September 17, 1796
"History teaches that opportunistic politicians who desire to rule at all costs will begin first as demagogues pandering to the angry and malignant passions of the crowd, but then end up as tyrants, trampling the freedoms and the rights of the people.”

The Federalist Papers
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. ...passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty."

1814, letter to John Taylor of Virginia