The Martin Luther King Jr. and Hampton Heroes Memorial Plaza is dedicated to the civil rights leader and to the men and women who devoted their lives to building bridges and working for social justice and equal rights in Hampton.
The plaza is meant to be a living monument, with new honorees added in the future. The first group of honorees includes those who represent four chapters in history that are especially unique to Hampton:
Contrabands: Enslaved Journey To Freedom
Public School Integration
Founding Hampton Institute
Located in front of the Hampton Roads Convention Center, the plaza includes elements that were already at the site – water, concrete and earth – and added a fourth, weathering steel.
The steel symbolizes the strength of those who are honored, and is meant to stand the test of time. It will react with salt and humidity to create a protective oxide coating that will change from orange to a browner hue over several decades.