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NC's 1st state monument honoring African Americans to be installed this week

The Beacon of Freedom is a 40-foot-tall metal structure that will be erected in North Carolina Freedom Park in Raleigh.

RALEIGH, N.C. — The installation of North Carolina's first state monument honoring African Americans will start on Tuesday in North Carolina's $4 million Freedom Park in Raleigh. 

The sculpture, which is called Beacon of Freedom, is a 40-foot-tall metal structure that will be installed between the state legislature and the governor's executive residence. It will stand tall at the intersection of five walkways and will shine a light into the sky every night.

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The project is a dream at least two decades in the making. Groundbreaking started in October 2020, but supply-chain issues delayed its installation.

“It has taken many partners to get to this next milestone, and we’re excited about the progress as we move toward completion of this historic project,” Reginald Hildebrand, historian and NC Freedom Park board member, said.

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Phil Freelon, who was the architect behind Freedom Park, died in 2019 from ALS, but his memory will live on through the poignant quotes he chose from African Americans who fought for freedom in North Carolina inscribed all over the walls of the park. It was one of his last designs.

Former NFL players and North Carolina natives Torry and Terrence Holt founded the Raleigh-based Holt Brothers Construction firm, which led the construction of this project.

“To see the project coming together represents the vision and work that has been more than 20 years in the making,” Terrence Holt said. “We are so honored to have such a significant role in the fruition of NC Freedom Park.”

A grand opening is scheduled for the spring of 2023. 

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