New LBJ monument in downtown to honor legacy of late president
HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, LBJ's youngest daughter Luci Baines Johnson, co-chairman of the Lyndon B. Johnson Advisory Board Charles C. Foster and lead architect CK Pang announced plans and broke ground for a monument dedicated to former President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place in downtown Houston at the Little Tranquility Park near the U.S. Federal Courthouse, where the monument will be located.
Watch a touching moment from LBJ's relative during the ceremony below.
Among the speakers were Turner, Johnson and Pang, who spoke about what the monument will bring to Houston as well as the tribute it will pay to the late president.
"This monument will not only serve in honoring LBJ's great contributions to our city and nation, but will also provide a chance to connect neighboring monuments and downtown landmarks in a new way for Houston residents and visitors to experience for decades to come," Pang said.
The monument is expected to bring a fresh look to the park.
According to a news release, it will bring improvements to Bagby Street, including a wider, more pedestrian-friendly sidewalk, a bike lane, green space and more.
It will be within walking distance from the statue of the late President George H.W. Bush.
The monument will feature a statue of LBJ along with a semicircle wall behind it that will recognize some of his greatest achievements along with other elements.
There also be bench seating and walking paths along the wall, which will help guide visitors through the redeveloped park, according to a news release.
During the news conference, Johnson spoke about how the monument means a lot to generations of Johnsons.
"My hope is that when people seek comfort from the tarmacs of life, they will come to this park and gaze upon a statue of Lyndon Johnson and recall how much my father cared and how hard he tried for Houston and for all of us" Johnson said.
A helicopter hovering during the ceremony caused some disruption, but Johnson took it as a sign her father, LBJ was watching over the moment.
"I for one find (the sound of the helicopter) may be a sign from on high that the helicopter … is Lyndon Johnson's presence one more time hovering over us and trying to get the rest of us to do the right thing." Johnson said.
The project is expected to be finished in 2020.
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