MLK Memorial Design Approved by Capital Planners

The Associated Press
Thursday, September 4, 2008; 2:40 PM

Designers working on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial have passed one of the final hurdles before they can begin construction.

The National Capital Planning Commission approved the final site building plans for the memorial Thursday. But the panel rejected plans for security bollards and a donor recognition wall at the site.

Executive Architect Ed Jackson says it's a milestone for the project, which has been in the works for a long time.

Peter May, a National Park Service official, argued for security enhancements at the site in response to threats from extremist groups. Other commissioners said security barriers would contradict King's ideals of openness and inclusiveness.

The memorial must still gain the approval of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts later this month.

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