Civic Art

Police Officer Memorial

Police Officer Memorial 

  • Number: 0012
  • Artist: Moroles, Jesus Bautista
  • Title: Houston Police Officers' Memorial
  • Date: 1990
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Medium: Granite
  • Location/Environment: 1400 Memorial Drive, Outdoors
  • Provenance: Given to the City of Houston by the Houston Endowment, the Wortham Foundation, the Linbeck Foundation, the Knox Foundation, the Cullen Foundation, Fayez Sarofim and Co., the Rockwell Fund, the Brown Foundation, the M.D. Anderson Foundation, the Scurlock Foundation, Neva West, and Albert and Margret Alkek

Historical Background
An internationally known sculptor, Moroles creates beautifully chiseled granite sculptures that are abstract in form. After spending a year in Italy in 1979, Morales began making the body of work for which he is widely known. A trademark of his work is his contrast of highly polished areas of stone with the rough natural surfaces exposed when granite is torn or chiseled. The artist has received numerous commissions for his large-scale work and his sculptures are included in museum and corporate collections throughout the United States.

Houston Police Officers' Memorial is the site for the annual procession and wreath-laying ceremony that honors Houston's slain police officers. The site is guarded 24 hours a day by on-duty officers.

This memorial was commissioned in order to honor Houston's police force and the officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. It is a tribute recognizing the sacrifices police officers make on a daily basis for the City of Houston.

Fund raising efforts for this $630,000 project began in 1985. Jesus Bautista Moroles had intended the memorial to become a playscape and gathering spot for concerts and picnics. The sculpture's design inclines the visitor to step down into the space before reaching the steps that lead to the apex of the memorial. Moroles pointed out, “you come up a lot farther than you go down”.

Physical Description
Houston Police Officers' Memorial is shaped like a Greek cross that consists of five stepped pyramids (ziggurat design).

The central pyramid rises 12 ½ feet above ground level, and the four outer pyramids are inverted to sink 12 feet into the ground. Every pyramid base is 40 feet square.

There is a reflecting pool surrounded by four inscribed slabs of polished Texas pink granite located at the sculptures apex (of the central pyramid). The inscriptions bear the names of over eighty officers that died in the line of duty. A smaller version of the reflection pool is near the parking lot, for those visitors who are unable to climb to the apex.

Click each photo below for full-sized versions

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