A long road: Architect of Martin Luther King memorial in DC describes his arduous task

Dr. Ed Jackson was selected to undertake this project from a list of accomplished architects, and devoted much effort over many years to bringing the memorial to fruition. First, he was tasked with the overall design. Then he sat down with Mrs. King to incorporate her wishes into the plan. He looked world-wide for an artist to do the bust of Dr. King, and he found one in China up to the task. Important was the kind of stone which could withstand the outside environment, and again China was chosen to supply it. Another job was supervising the driving of long pilings into the river bottom to support the overburden of earth and stone. Finally, he observed the beautiful Japanese cherry blossoms that came out in DC in the early spring, and had these trees substituted for the usual bushes and shrubs in the design, resulting in the pink and white blossoms which would appear and complement the red traces in the stone, around the week of his death.

Dr. Jackson emphasized that Dr. King believed that it would be by love alone that the country would be knitted back together. He encourages all to visit and be uplifted by the memorial.

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