RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Community leaders are getting their first look at the Beacon of Freedom, which will be the state’s first monument for African-Americans.

The beacon was designed by late architect Phil Freelon and will be the cornerstone of the future North Carolina Freedom Park in Downtown Raleigh. The park’s board and community leaders toured the site Thursday and got a look at the monument, which is a symbol for the black person’s quest for freedom.

A Colorado company spent a year working on the monument, and board members say they’re glad to see the monument standing after years of planning.

“When I look at the beacon, I can see the flame that Phil Freelon was trying to bring out,” said Reginald Hodges, a freedom park board member. 

Five walkways will lead up to the monument and there will be quotes lining the walls of the park mostly from black North Carolinians. Board member Reginald Hildebrand tells CBS 17 park’s location between the legislative building and the executive mansion was very intentional.

“There is no way you can come out of that legislature and not be struck by the beacon of freedom and be reminded of what your ultimate responsibility and to whom you must be accountable,” Hildebrand said.

The board says the park should be finished and ready to open sometime next year.