The Tidal Basin in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
National Mall and Memorial Parks, Washington, D.C.
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
“With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr., "I Have a Dream,” August 28, 1963.
With a combined length of approximately 500 feet, the granite “Inscription Wall” arcs on either side of the Mountain of Despair, engraved with Dr. King’s speeches and writings which embody the universal themes of love, justice, democracy and hope.
Master sculptor Lei Yixin’s masterpiece, the “Stone of Hope,” includes a 28 foot tall statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. emerging from the granite.
The main entrance to the memorial is through the “Mountain of Despair,” a massive boulder symbolizing the struggle faced in the quest for peace and equality. From within the struggle, a piece
The memorial is strategically placed on a direct line between the Lincoln Memorial and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial is where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. gazes across the Tidal Basin toward the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the promise of freedom found within the Declaration of Independence.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy to the world is of love, justice, democracy and hope. The Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. was established on May 28, 1998 to coordinate the development, funding, and the construction of a memorial on the grounds of the National Mall. President William Jefferson Clinton signed a Joint Congressional Resolution authorizing the building of a memorial on July 16, 1998.
• Designer: ROMA Design Group of San Francisco.
• Architect of Record: McKissack & McKissack.
• Contractor: McKissack & McKissack / Turner Construction / Tompkins Builders / Gilford Corporation Design-Build Joint Venture.
• Sculptor of Record: Master Sculptor Lei Yixin.
• Projected Cost: $120 Million.
• Projected Completion Date: Late 2011.
Erected 2011 by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker memorial is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Civil Rights • Government & Politics • Peace. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #42 William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1864.
Location. 38° 53.154′ N, 77° 2.651′ W. Marker is in The Tidal Basin in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is at the intersection of Independence Avenue Southwest and West Basin Drive Southwest, on the left when traveling east on Independence Avenue Southwest. Marker is on the pedestrian walkway at the north-northwest edge of the Tidal Basin, between Independence Avenue and Ohio Drive Southwest, just east of West Basin Drive Southwest and the MLK Memorial construction site. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1964 Independence Avenue Southwest, Washington DC 20024, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. District of Columbia War Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The First Japanese Cherry Trees (about 700 feet away); Canada's Gift to the United StatesThe 1912 Cherry Tree Plantings (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Symbol of International Friendship (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lighting the Way (approx. 0.2 miles away); Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Korean War Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in The Tidal Basin.
More about this memorial.
“Build the Dream” (Logo of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation).
The model for the Memorial’s winning design.
Artist renderings of the “Inscription Wall”, the “Stone of Hope” sculpture, and the “Mountain of Despair” boulder – with arrows pointing to their locations on an overview of the memorial site.
Map of the Tidal Basin area, showing the MLK Memorial site in relation to major memorials nearby.
Also see . . .
1. "Artist Lei Yixin faced controversy ...". Chinese Culture Online reprint (PDF) (Submitted on August 23, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. "At Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, a joyous crowd.". The Washington Post website entry:
By Michael E. Ruane and Jeannine Hunter, August 22, 2011 (Submitted on August 23, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
3. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial. Wikipedia entry:
... The memorial is a result of an early effort of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated to erect a monument to King. ... (Submitted on September 5, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
4. "I Am A Man": Dr. King and the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike. YouYube video, 9m 58s (Submitted on September 11, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 22, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 27, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,314 times since then and 86 times this year. Last updated on August 23, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. It was the Marker of the Week January 17, 2016. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 27, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 7. submitted on March 31, 2011, by Felecia G Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 8. submitted on April 19, 2011, by Felecia G Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on August 31, 2011, by Felecia G Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 13, 14, 15. submitted on August 22, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 16, 17. submitted on August 23, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.