Built in 2011 the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial is one of Washington DC‘s newest landmarks.
The main structure of this memorial is a 30 foot stone version of MLK titled “Stone of Hope”. The side of the stone contains an excerpt from the iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.
“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
You’ll also notice the carving of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Stone of Hope appears to be pulled out from the large boulder behind it. The large rock behind the Memorial symbolizes the Mountain of Despair.
How to get to the MLK Memorial
The MLK Jr. Memorial is located directly on the Tidal Basin in DC and is easily accessible. The MLK Memorial is free to visit any time of the day. There is also a public restroom located across the street from the memorial.
Typically I find parking on Ohio drive SW or bike down to the area, it’s only a short walk from the National Mall as well.
The best metro stops for the MLK Memorial are the Smithsonian (0.9 miles away) and Foggy Bottom (1.4 miles away) metro stops.
The address of the memorial is 1964 Independence Avenue SW, DC which is a nod to the 1964 Civil Rights Act which he played an important role in.MLK, Jr. Memorial on Google Maps
Photos of the MLK Memorial
Here are a few more of my photos from the MLK Jr. Memorial and around the Tidal Basin. The Memorial is great to visit any time of year and especially beautiful during cherry blossom season.
Frequently Asked Questions about the MLK Memorial
What is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial?
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is a national monument dedicated to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is located in West Potomac Park in Washington D.C., near the National Mall and on the Tidal Basin.
When was the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial built?
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was built between 2009 and 2011, and was officially opened to the public on August 22, 2011.
Who designed the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial?
The sculpture at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was sculpted by the Chinese artist master Lei Yixin.
What does the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial look like?
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial consists of several components, including a large statue of Dr. King, a wall inscribed with some of his most famous quotes, and a ceremonial entrance known as the “Mountain of Despair.” The statue itself is 30 feet tall and made of white granite, and depicts Dr. King with his arms crossed and a stern expression on his face.
What is the significance of the “Mountain of Despair” at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial?
The “Mountain of Despair” is a large rock outcropping that visitors must pass through in order to reach the statue of Dr. King. It represents the struggle and adversity that Dr. King faced during his life, and serves as a symbolic reminder of the challenges that still exist in the fight for equality and justice in America.
Is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial free to visit?
Yes, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is completely free and open to the public year-round, 24 hours a day.
Is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial accessible for people with disabilities?
Yes, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is fully accessible for people with disabilities. There are designated parking spaces and ramps to assist visitors with mobility issues, as well as tactile exhibits and audio tours for visitors with visual or hearing impairments.
What is the best time of year to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial?
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial can be visited year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your personal preferences (read: best time to visit DC). Spring and fall offer mild temperatures and beautiful foliage, while summer can be hot and humid but offers longer hours of daylight. Winter can be cold, but the Memorial is less crowded during this time.
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