Tags: King | Statue | Work | Begins | Mall

King Statue Work Begins on the Mall

Monday, 18 Jan 2010 08:37 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Construction is finally under way on the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial on the Mall after 13 years of planning, fundraising and legal wrangling.

Workers have been clearing the site on the Tidal Basin since Dec. 28. They will move some trees to another part of the Mall, including a few of Washington's famous cherry trees. By February, heavy construction will begin.

Monday will mark the first King holiday, though, when organizers can finally see their work progressing.

"Everyone in the office is taking a deep breath," executive architect Ed Jackson Jr., said in an interview Friday. "Although it's been a labor of love, it's been a long road — 13 years for me."

It was supposed to be completed by now. President Bill Clinton signed a law authorizing the memorial in 1996, and President George W. Bush appeared at a ceremonial groundbreaking with Oprah Winfrey and others in 2006.

Numerous design approvals and a disagreement with the National Park Service over how to secure the site against domestic terrorism delayed the project.

"We had no idea it would take this long," Mr. Jackson said.

Still, he said, the years of work will pay off as millions of visitors will eventually see King's words carved in stone.

"Although it has been a long road, I am extremely fortunate to have an opportunity to be a part of it," Mr. Jackson said. "Obviously, I feel blessed."

The private foundation working to build the memorial is still raising money to complete it. To date, $108 million of the $120 million needed has been raised, spokeswoman Rica Orszag said.

In recent months, the Boeing Co. has been running television ads promoting the project. The group also is accepting $5 donations through a text message campaign.

Major infrastructure work will begin in February. It will take seven months to drive 300 concrete piles into the ground to support the granite memorial plaza and towering statue of King, Mr. Jackson said.

After that, the memorial will begin to slowly take shape.

The 28-foot "Stone of Hope" and "Mountain of Despair" sculptures will arrive in more than 150 pieces by May from China, where they were created. Sculptor Lei Yixin is scheduled to assemble the pieces between August and October.

A construction fence has been built around the site, but some places will be left open for visitors to see the progress.

In the final phase of construction, King's famous quotations will be engraved in granite along the water where memorials also honor Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Franklin D. Roosevelt. More than 200 cherry trees with their pink and white blossoms will be planted around the memorial.

A dedication and opening is expected in the fall of 2011.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Pat Buchanan: US Ceasing to Be Christian Country

Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 23:27 PM

The United States was founded on a predominantly Christian world view that is quickly disappearing, Pat Buchanan says. . . .

Seattle Cop Who Issued 80% of Marijuana Tickets Reassigned

Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 22:55 PM

The Seattle Police Department has reassigned an officer who single-handedly issued about 80 percent of the marijuana tic . . .

Letterman, Jay Carney Joke About Press Secretary Non-Answers

Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 22:28 PM

Jay Carney, who recently resigned as press secretary for President Barack Obama, was a guest on "The Late Show with Davi . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved