: News

Filed Under:

Shipping Delay For MLK Memorial Stones Will Not Delay Project

Play associated audio
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial site is being prepared for 159 stone blocks, which will create the memorial.
Elliott Francis
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial site is being prepared for 159 stone blocks, which will create the memorial.

By Elliott Francis

The delay in the shipment of 159 blocks of granite for the new memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will not necessarily postpone construction.

Engineers for the project were hoping to have the blocks shipped from China to D.C. by May. Greece had offered to transport the material at no cost out of admiration for the civil rights leader. But the country now says it can't afford it.

Free shipping would've been nice, but not necessary, according to the memorial foundation's President, Harry Johnson.

"This was going to be a freebie that had it happened, we would have been able to take a credit off the total bill, but in terms of paying for it, it was already budgeted anyway," he says.

And as work to prepare the four-acre site on the northeast corner of the Tidal Basin continues, Johnson says he's confident the delay in shipping will not push back the project's completion date.

"Even though they were going to be shipped in May or June, work on the stone was not going to occur in America until September anyway," he says. "Having the stone sit in China, or sit in America, they were going to sit in storage for two months anyway."

Johnson says he now hopes to have the granite in this country by the end of July, and expects memorial to be finished on schedule by fall of 2011.

The group building the memorial has launched an "MLK Construction Cam" online this week to show progress on the $120 million project. The webcam feed is available here: http://www.mlkmemorial.org/earthcam


Latest LGBT Films Move Beyond 'Coming Out' Narrative

There are a large number of LGBT films in theaters this fall. NPR explores what that says about Hollywood and society in general.

In The Pot Or The Pan, Chef Paul Prudhomme Was Always 'Making Magic'

The New Orleans chef changed the way the world saw Louisiana cooking. He has died at the age of 75.

Rep. Charlie Dent: House Republicans 'Frankly Shocked' By McCarthy Decision

NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania about Rep. Kevin McCarthy's decision to drop out of the race for the House Speakership.

Amazon Takes Aim At Etsy With A New Craft Site, Handmade

Amazon will require that the goods be factory-free, a direct swipe at Etsy, which now allows artisans to work with manufacturers to increase their sales.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.