Trivia

Hard

Which Iconic Sci-Fi Character Is Immortalized As A Grotesque On The Washington National Cathedral?

Darth Vader
RoboCop
Godzilla
Doctor Who
A photo depicting the Darth Vader grotesque.
Washington National Cathedral

Answer: Darth Vader

In the 1980s, the Washington National Cathedral was undergoing renovations and expansion. As part of the renovation process, the Cathedral staff hosted a sculpture contest for children wherein the drawings of the winners would be crafted in stone and serve as grotesques on the then under-construction West Towers.

Among the winning drawings was one by Christopher Rader, who had submitted a drawing of the sci-fi villain Darth Vader. His drawing was first rendered in wood by Jay Hall Carpenter, then recreated in stone by Patrick J. Plunkett before finally coming to rest high up on the newly completed northwest tower of the Cathedral.

If you’re in Washington, D.C. and looking for Lord Vader, be sure to head to the dark side. Literally, that is, as Vader’s likeness was purposely placed on the darkest side of the building in a subtle homage to his iconic role.

You might be wondering why we’ve referred to the sculpture as a grotesque. Although most people call the sculptures of heads, animals, and mythical creatures that adorn old buildings “gargoyles,” most of them are actually “grotesques.” A gargoyle is a sculpture that serves as a termination point for roof drainage (their open mouths are downspouts that help direct rainwater away from the building) whereas a grotesque is simply a decorative creature. By that measure, all gargoyles are also grotesques, but not all grotesques are gargoyles.

Trivia

Easy

Which Of These Foodstuffs Was Originally Dyed Before Sale?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Christmas Films Was Originally Released In The Spring?

Trivia

Hard

Which Amusement Park Almost Built A Massive Myst-Themed Adventure?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Cities, Due To How Many Hawaiians Visit It, Is Called The Ninth Island?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Humble Second Derives Its Name From What Source?

Trivia

Hard

The Mall Of America Is Principally Heated By?

Trivia

Hard

The First President To Officially Pardon A Thanksgiving Turkey Was?

Trivia

Very Hard

What Scientific Measurement Scale Was Originally Inverted From Its Present State?

Trivia

Hard

In The 1960s The US Army Released Millions Of What Into The New York City Subway?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Of These Halloween Movies Was Critically Panned, But Became A Cult Classic?