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Architects hired for MLK Memorial

Two architecture firms are joining forces to finish planning the of the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington D.C.
Dr. Edward Jackson Jr., executive architect for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project. Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Promoters of a Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial for the nation’s capital introduced the project’s architects Wednesday and announced they have almost half the money needed to break ground.

The King Memorial Foundation has raised more than $29 million for the project and expects to have at least $4 million more by the end of next month, said its president, Harry Johnson.

Congress has given the foundation an extension until 2006 to collect $67 million of the anticipated $100 million total cost of the project and begin construction.

Two architecture firms are joining forces to finish planning the structure — Washington-based Devrouax & Purnell and San Francisco-based ROMA Design Group, which in 2000 submitted the winning design out of more than 900 entries.

“We have a design concept we are extremely proud to present to the citizens of this world,” said Ed Jackson Jr., the executive architect for the project. “It will be a living memorial, one that speaks to future generations about peace, justice, hope and love.”

The architects said their ideal design remains almost identical to the original, although they’re considering changes to add extra security and traffic control should they be required.

The landscaped memorial would cover a four-acre triangle on the shore of Washington’s Tidal Basin, between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials and next to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial.

It would include an elevated walkway overlooking the basin, a huge stone marker in King’s likeness and numerous oak, pine, magnolia and cherry trees.