This monument sits at the intersection of Brambleton Avenue and Church Street.  It is a granite obelisk that is 83 feet tall atop a granite base with a waterfall.  The memorial’s four sides are inscribed with some of Dr. King’s famous quotations.  The placement of the monument is significant due it being the center of the African American community from early 1900s to present.  The stretch of Church Street from East Bute Street to about Goff Street was the business and cultural heart for the Norfolk’s black community as Granby Street and Main Street were for Norfolk’s white community. 

The memorial was proposed back in 1975 by Councilman Joseph A. Jordan, Jr. as symbol of inspiration for young people.  The fundraising for the monument was slow between the intervening years.   A memorial committee in 1997 changed the memorial’s proposed 155-foot height down to 83 feet to cut down on the monument’s cost.   On January 19, 1998, a ground-breaking ceremony was held. Work began in May 1999 with the completion of the work expected by early October 1999 however it was completed in December 1999.  The dedication of the memorial was held on January 17, 2000.  The monument since 2000 has been the site of annual celebration for Dr. King’s birthday.

In October 2020, some of the granite panels on the obelisk had become loose.  The monument will need to be removed to restore it.  Once the repair work is completed, it will be reinstalled on the same site.  The repair work is scheduled to be finished in early 2021. 



  83’ granite obelisk

Street Address:

 701 Church Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 (Approximate)

Name (Original):

 Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument

Name (Also Known As):

 King Memorial, King Monument, MLK Monument,  Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial


 McDonald, Williams, and Bank (Washington DC)

General Contractor:

 Reliable Builders (Norfolk, VA)


 American Steel, Inc.

Architectural Style:


Cost (Original)

 $500,000.00 (1998)

Groundbreaking Date:

 January 19, 1998

Construction Date:

 May 1999

Completion Date:

 December 1999

Dedication Date:

 January 17, 2000


 36.853231, -76.280299




1.      Books and Pamphlets:


 2.      Documents/Collections:


 3.      Maps/Plats/Surveys:


 4.      Newspaper/Magazines/Journals:  (Selective)


  • Lake, Marvin.  “King Memorial Proposed in Church Street Circle.”  Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Virginia).  23 October 1975. A1, A4.
  • "Attack on Dr. King Resented." Norfolk Journal and Guide (Norfolk, Virginia). 15 November 1975.
  • "Dr. King's Monument." Norfolk Journal and Guide (Norfolk, Virginia). 8 November 1975.
  • “Scope Crowd Backs Memorial to King.” Norfolk Journal and Guide (Norfolk, Virginia). 6 December 1975.


  • Stone, Steve. “300 Gather to Honor King, ‘break ground’ for Statue.”  Ledger-Star (Norfolk, Virginia) 16 January 1984. D1, D4.
  • Young, Sharon. “Council Reaffirms Plan to Provide Land for King State, Delays Road-Change Issue.” Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Virginia).  18 January 1984.  C1, C6.
  • Schreuder, Cindy.  “Monument Design to Be Unveiled.” Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Virginia).  3 February 1985.  B1, B3.
  • Schreuder, Cindy.  “Black Leaders Seek Contributions for Proposed Memorial to King.” Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Virginia).  4 February 1985.  D1, D5.
  • “Dialogue: City’s Martin Luther King Memorial Discussed.” Norfolk Compass - Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Virginia).  17 February 1985. 4, 18.
  • Hill, Lathan. "King Monument Scheduled for Norfolk." Norfolk Journal and Guide (Norfolk, Virginia). 15 January 1986.


  • "Sorority Will Hold Rummage Sale." New Journal and Guide (Norfolk, VA). 24 July 1991. 3.
  • "Crestar Joins Effort to Raise Funds for MLK Monument." New Journal and Guide (Norfolk, VA). 15 February 1995. 8.
  • "Norfolk's MLK Monument Nears $500,000 in Fund Raising Efforts." New Journal and Guide (Norfolk, VA). 17 January 1996.
  • Watson, Denise.  “Monument to King is Closer to Reality.” Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA). 15 January 1996.
  • Lewis, Nancy.  “Monument to King Closer to Reality.”  Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA). 16 January 1997. A1, A13. 
  • Lewis, Nancy.  “King Monument Foundation Closes in on a Contractor Choice.” Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA). 21 January 1997. B3. 
  • Colvin, Leonard. "After 31 Years in the Making: Groundbreaking Set for Norfolk's King Memorial." New Journal and Guide (Norfolk, VA). 10 December 1997. 1.
  • Colvin, Leonard. "In Norfolk on January 19: Groundbreaking Ready for Dr. King Monument." New Journal and Guide (Norfolk, VA). 14 January 1998. 1.
  • Doucette, John-Henry.  “A Step Closer.” Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA). 15 January 1998. B1, B4.
  • Doucette, John-Henry.  “King: Hampton Roads Celebrates the Man and the Freedom Movement He Led More Than 40 Years Ago.” Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA). 20 January 1998. B1, B7.
  • Knelper, Mike. “Work Begins on King Monument.” Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA). 20 May 1999. B1, B5.
  • "Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial: The Dream of the Memorial Is Becoming A Reality." Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA). 17 August 1999.  B1.
  • Colvin, Leonard. "Dedication of Monument Set 25-Year-Old King Project to be Officially Dedicated in January 2000."  New Journal and Guide (Norfolk, VA). 24 November 1999. 1.


  • Williams, Terri.  "Dream of King Memorial A Reality at Last New Monument is to Be Dedicated During Birthday Tribute on Monday." Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA), 11 January 2000.  B1.
  • Colvin, Leonard. "Remembering the King: Area Celebrations Include Dedicating New Norfolk Monument." New Journal and Guide (Norfolk, VA). 19 January 2000. 1.



5.      Photographs/Images:


 6.      Vertical Files:

  •  Folder: “Norfolk – Monuments – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Sargeant Memorial Collection Norfolk Clippings Files, MSS 0000-NCF

 7.      Websites:


Sources at Other Institutions and Archives

  •      1998 Architectural Drawings located at City of Norfolk’s Public Works – Design Office