Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, San Francisco

MLK Memorial, San Francisco

MLK Memorial, San Francisco

In the heart of San Francisco, centered in the Yerba Buena Gardens park, is the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.  Highlighted by a roaring waterfall, it is solid, yet always moving.


Built of Sierra granite, there is a terrace garden and walkway above the waterfall, and the rushing waterfall that empties into a 120,000 gallon reflecting pool.  It is the largest fountain on the west coast.  A unique path behind the waterfall features 12 etched glass panels of quotations by Dr. King.


MLK fountain, San Francisco

MLK Memorial, San Francisco

Entitled “Revelation,” the memorial was built in 1993.  It was a collaborative project by sculptor Houston Conwill, architect Joseph De Pace, and poet Estella Conwill Majozo.  More Memorial info here.


Etched glass panels with quotes

Jet reading quotes, waterfall above and behind

Born on this day in 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. became the greatest African American human rights leader of all time.  More about Dr. King here.


1963 March on Washington. Courtesy Wikipedia.

He organized and led the 1963 March on Washington, and moved hundreds of thousands of people in one of the largest human rights political rallies of the time, calling for an end to racism.


Looking through the waterfall

Looking through the waterfall

The visitor proceeds under the waterfall, drawn in, and rewarded with privacy and reflection on the words of this fearless world leader.   There, underneath, all you hear is crashing water.  The city is drowned out, urban stimulation has vanished.  As we read each quote, his rhythmic words, deep voice, and brilliant oratory style come quickly to mind.


Dr. King, 1963 March on Washington

Dr. King, 1963 March on Washington

Dr. King shook the world.  He demanded equality.


This memorial reminds us there is still a long way to go, and we cannot forget, we cannot be mute.  But we can take time to pause and reflect, as we continue moving forward.


“No.  No, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander unless noted otherwise



48 thoughts on “Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, San Francisco

    • I remember you have family in SF. It’s a lovely park on the edge of the Financial District, and your family members may not have seen it either yet. The whole memorial will give you goosebumps. Thanks so much my friend! 🙂

    • It’s very unique, inviting the visitor to walk underneath a waterfall and then finding all these beautiful glass etchings and profound quotes. So glad you enjoyed the post, Cindy~~ 🙂

  1. Why is it I never heard of this before? I could almost overcome my aversion to big cities these days to see this amazing memorial. Thanks for showing it to us and making us aware.

    • Yes, it is not very well known. I had heard of it years ago, and then never visited it until a few mos. ago when I was down in that area of the city to visit the Historical Society. I’m glad I could share these photos and highlights with you today, Gunta — very glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  2. I’ve never seen that memorial…of course, I haven’t been in the States for any length of time for 15 years. So….
    This was a very nice post and nice history. I remember that 1963 march…I lived 40 miles away from DC at the time.

    • It is not as well known as the MLK memorial in Wash. DC, so I am glad to have had the opportunity to share it with you, Indah. Thanks so much for your visit and kind words.

  3. I love the memorial in SF. Great way to interact with the text and ideas. I like reading things he said more than the usual MLK Day repetitious clips. Thanks for sharing. – Lynn

    • It’s easy to miss — not in a tourist section, and it looks like a beautiful fountain in a park, not a memorial. So glad I could show it to you here, TR — thanks for dropping by.

  4. Great tribute to a great man Jet Dear!Astonishing Memorial with the roaring waterfall giving life to the area and clearing the visitors’ mind.Walking underneath and reading his brilliant quotes while hearing the water coming down,must be a thrilling experience.Your description helped me to visualise the Memorial and almost heard the roaring water coming down,but Athena’s photos put the big stamp on it! Learning is joyous and getting to know new places and facts is fascinating.Best to you,my friend 🙂 ~

    • I am honored and pleased that you enjoyed the MLK post, dear Doda. Your kind words, keen insight, and attentive absorption are so very much appreciated. My best to you, dear friend *`>`*

      • Many thanks for being beyond appreciative,dear Jet!It is not only the interesting subjects you choose to post,it has also to do with the way you present everything which comes from the bottom of you heart and the reader can sense it … Having the ability to build a close rapport is so important in all fields and professions … 🙂 *`>`* x

  5. Thank you for the great synopsis on the statue. Being from San Francisco it’s humbling when someone loves your city for its culture.

    • Oh yes, I’m a long-time fan of SF, Tareau. I have lived in the Bay Area for 30 years. I’m currently writing a mystery based in SF, due out in a few mos.; it’s loaded with SF culture and history. Thank you for your message and visit.

      • Really awww man I would love to read it. There are so many spooky and mysterious things here. Please let me know when it’s available to the public. SF would be the perfect city to remake clue in. The fog, Pacific heights, the raccoons and coyotes that roam the city now, the winds man oh man

      • I enjoyed your enthusiastic response, Tareau. In the not-so-distant future I’ll be publishing more SF posts and the announcement of the book too.

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