Though Martin Luther King Jr. visited Seattle only once, in 1961, he made a lasting impression. Thirty years later, a public park, dedicated to the civil rights leader’s achievements, joined the Seattle street and county already named in his honor.
The four-and-a-half-acre park—a sprawling, grassy, terraced hill—lies in central Seattle and from its pinnacle provides panoramic views of Beacon Hill and the Rainier Valley. While the scenery itself is a reason to visit, the soul of the park is a 30-foot granite mountain rising from an oval reflecting pool. The statue, which is also a fountain, was inspired by King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, given the day before his assassination in 1968. It is composed of three granite segments representing both the Christian Trinity and the union of mother, father, and child.
Surrounding the reflecting pool are 12 bronze plaques that commemorate important days in King’s life, including his birth in 1929, his Nobel Peace Prize win in 1964 (at age 35, he was the youngest person to ever win), and his assassination. Tiles placed along the pavement are engraved with King’s inspirational words.
The park was dedicated in 1991 and has become a popular gathering place for Martin Luther King Jr. Day marches and rallies.
- 4am to 11:30pm daily
- Location: 2200 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Seattle, WA
- Phone: 206-684-4075
- Website: www.seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?id=3923