Plans Approved for MLK Memorial in Potomac Park

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is set to become more than just a dream.

On Sept. 4, the National Capital Planning Commission approved plans for the preliminary and final site and building plans for the King Memorial. This approval marks a turning point in a long-fought battle, which began when President Clinton signed a bill proposing the memorial for King in 1996.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, which will be located in West Potomac Park, will feature three integral design elements: the Mountain of Despair, the Inscription Wall and the Stone of Hope.

The Memorial will also provide the visitor with niches for private reflection time among beautiful red maple trees and a view of the Jefferson Memorial.

The final design plan, created by ROMA Design Group of San Francisco, Calif., was chosen from over 900 designs in an international competition.

Planners also requested additional security by the National Park Service, citing concerns about threats from extremist groups.

“The Commission, however, did not approve a request to add security bollards at the site,” the National Capital Planning Commission said in a press release.

The National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc., has raised $98 million of the target $120 million for the memorial. Based on this fundraising goal, the tentative date for the completion of the memorial is 2010.

– Lenard Babus

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