On December 28, Congress authorized the construction of a national memorial to Lyndon B. Johnson. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places at the same time. It is one of two memorials within Lady Bird Johnson Park, the other being the Navy and Marine Memorial dedicated to sailors and Merchant Mariners who died in WWI.
Designed by landscape architect Meade Palmer, the site of the monument was personally selected by Lady Bird Johnson. Her husband would often spend time at this location to relax and escape the stresses of his office. A recording at the park entrance features the voice of the former First Lady, describing the park's creation. The memorial was dedicated on September 27, 1974. At the dedication ceremony on April 6, 1974, Claudia Johnson stated:
This strip of land will always be a special place for me... It
appears at the moment when you come over a rise and look down into the
Potomac Valley and see the capital spread out with its great
monuments... The years never diminished the feeling of pride and elation
we felt in those beautiful buildings that belong to all of us.1
The grove is located on Columbia Island and can be reached via a wooden footbridge. The area is divided into two parts. An open meadow, surrounded by deciduous trees, dogwood and white pines, is intended to reflect Johnson's interest in conservation legislation. Spiral trails framed by azaleas and rhododendron lead from the grove to a large, roughly-carved megalith. The megalith was carved by sculptor Harold Vogel from Texas granite. From the lawn in front of the memorial, visitors can view an impressive vista of the National Mall.