Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens Expansion

Last updated Jan. 28, 2014 - 3:04 pm
  • Planning
  • Design
  • Construction
  • Completed
  • Park
  • Planning Phase: $10,000 | Design and Construction: $900,000 (partially funded/funds planned for future fiscal years)
  • Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources (Lead)
  • McNeely Associates, PA
  • Dan Huffman Architecture, PA
  • Lysaght & Associates
  • Progressive Design Collaborative
  • The Wooten Company

Current Activity

Citizen Advisory Council (CAC) District: South Central

The Raleigh City Council, on July 2, 2013, approved the schematic design for the expansion of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens. City staff was authorized to proceed with construction documents and the subsequent bidding process.


Mission Statement:

To honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy and contributions to peace, justice, equality, human dignity, and education by expanding and enhancing the MLK Memorial Gardens , providing a unique historic and educational destination for the citizens of Raleigh, the people of North Carolina and the Nation.


  • Enrich the commemorative experience
  • Support education opportunities
  • Promote community cohesion
  • Complement downtown development
  • Provide safe, friendly and sustainable leisure environment
  • Improve vehicular and pedestrian accessibility

Planning and design for expansion of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens.


Memorial Gardens


Project schedule with dates and descriptions
February - November 2012Planning and Conceptual Design
2013 - 2014Design Development and Construction Documents
2014 - 2015 (dependent on budget approval)Bidding and Construction
February 9, 2012Public Leadership Group meeting
March 20, 2012Public input meeting to develop master plan
March 28, 2012Public Leadership Group meeting
June 20, 2012Public Leadership Group meeting
August 1, 2012Public Leadership Group meeting
September 20, 2012Presentation to Parks Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board & public meeting
November 6, 2012Presentation of draft master plan to City Council
June 13, 2013Public meeting to review schematic design
June 20, 2013Presentation to Parks Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board & public meeting
July 2, 2013Presentation of schematic plan to City Council


The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens was originally constructed in 1990 through the efforts of a number of park advocates including the Martin Luther King Committee. In 2003, the City acquired 1.67 acres of vacant land adjacent to the park for the purpose of expanding the existing Memorial Gardens. The additional amenities are intended to make the park more user and family-friendly through better meeting the needs of the visiting public, including school children, college students and elderly citizens. In 2008, Community Advocates for Parks in Southeast Raleigh (CAPSR), on behalf of the Martin Luther King Committee, submitted a request to City Council to expand and upgrade the Memorial Gardens. Subsequently, City Council directed staff to consider the expansion project during budget deliberation. The adopted 2012 (fiscal year) capital improvement program budget includes $10,000 for initial planning fees and expenses with a phased budget planned for future fiscal years.

On December 6, 2011, City Council approved the planning process for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens expansion project, to include the establishment of a Public Leadership Group (PLG), two public input meetings, and the development of a conceptual plan.

The PLG consisted of representatives from the following organizations:
Martin Luther King Committee
South Central Citizens Advisory Council
Saint Augustine's College
Shaw University
Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board
Wake County Public School System
Community Advocates for Parks in Southeast Raleigh
At-large member

On November 6, City Council adopted the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens Master Plan, as recommended by the Parks Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board, and authorized staff to proceed to design phase.

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