The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is the only major memorial on the National Mall not dedicated to a former president (there are a few smaller memorials dedicated to other non-presidents). Dr. King was a minister, activist and civil rights leader during the 1950s and 1960s.
MLK Memorial location
The MLK Memorial is located on the Tidal Basin, across the water from the Jefferson Memorial. The address of the memorial is 1964 Independence Avenue SW. Interestingly enough, this references the year the Civil Rights Act Of 1964 became law.
Getting to the MLK Memorial
There are several transportation options to get to the memorial:
- Metro: Take the orange, blue, or silver line to the Smithsonian Metro and walk eastbound along Independence Avenue SW until you reach the memorial. It is about an eighteen minute walk.
- DC Circulator: Take the National Mall Circulator bus from anywhere on the National Mall. This bus route starts at Union Station and then makes a big loop past the Capitol, museums and monuments and memorials.
- Capital Bikeshare: You can ride a Capital Bikeshare bike from anywhere into the city to the nearby “Ohio Dr & West Basin Dr SW / MLK & FDR Memorials” station.
TIP: The best and easiest way to see the MLK Memorial is on a guided tour. Our walking tours cover all of the major monuments and memorials on the National Mall. We use an efficient route that allows you to see all of them in three hours or less.
A few interesting facts
- The memorial is based on a single quote from Martin Luther King: “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” This quote is carved on the side of the statue of Dr. King.
- The designers chose quotes on the walls of the memorial from speeches other than I have a Dream to help visitors appreciate the different speeches that Martin Luther King delivered during his lifetime.
- The MLK Memorial falls directly in line with the Jefferson Memorial and Lincoln Memorial. These three men form a “line of leadership” that honors Americans who shaped what the country is today.
Coming to Washington, DC and want to learn a whole lot more about the MLK Memorial?
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