This lion guards the Renwick Gallery of craft and decorative arts at 17th & Pennsylvania Ave, NW.  Adorably enough, it holds a bird’s nest in its gaping maw. 

The Renwick Lion, like many of the lions of DC, can be described as a mascaron.  Wikipedia Wisdom tells us that “In architecture, a mascaron ornament is a face, usually human, sometimes frightening or chimeric whose function was originally to frighten away evil spirits so that they would not enter the building.”

Thanks, little guy!

Pictured above is one of the four Perry Lions guarding the Taft Bridge on Connecticut Ave NW. Originally sculpted in 1906 by Roland Perry, the lions are made of cast concrete. In 1964, they were restored by Renato Luccetti, though unfortunately the restoration proved to be “less than entirely successful.” They were restored again in 1993, but were eventually found to be beyond restoration. Sculptor Reinaldo Lopez-Carrizo created molds of the lions and from those cast new concrete molds, which replaced the originals in 2000. The molds were also used to cast the bronze lions at the National Zoo in 2002.

Pictured above is one of the four Perry Lions guarding the Taft Bridge on Connecticut Ave NW. Originally sculpted in 1906 by Roland Perry, the lions are made of cast concrete. In 1964, they were restored by Renato Luccetti, though unfortunately the restoration proved to be “less than entirely successful.” They were restored again in 1993, but were eventually found to be beyond restoration. Sculptor Reinaldo Lopez-Carrizo created molds of the lions and from those cast new concrete molds, which replaced the originals in 2000. The molds were also used to cast the bronze lions at the National Zoo in 2002.