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Who Built the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is a recently completed memorial to civil rights activist Martin Luther King. It is located in West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., near the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. The memorial was opened to the public on August 22, 2011 and was officially dedicated on October 16. The highlight of the memorial is a 9.1 m (30 foot) high statue of Martin Luther King, Jr., which is named “The Stone of Hope.” Let’s take a look at who built this impressive memorial.

Who Built the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
The idea for a memorial came from the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, of which King was a member. They were given permission to establish a memorial as long as they raised the money for construction. There was over 900 designs submitted for the memorial and the design from the ROMA Design Group was chosen as the winning design. Construction for the memorial began in December 2009.

The design and construction of the project was overseen by McKissack & McKissack of Washington, Inc. and the construction was completed by the Turner Construction Company, Gilford Corporation and Tompkins Builders, Inc.

The feature piece of the memorial, The Stone of Hope, was sculpted by Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin.

Did you know?
According to one source, Lei Yixin was discovered taking a nap under a tree at an international granite-carving festival after being pointed out to the memorial committee.

The memorial was meant to open on August 28, 2011, which would have been the 48th anniversary of the most famous speech ever delivered by King. Unfortunately it had to be postponed due to Hurricane Irene.

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