The park is located inside a large traffic circle in the shape of an ellipse and bounded by the Elliptical Road. Its main feature is a tall mausoleum containing the remains of Manuel L. Quezon, the second official President of the Philippines and the first of an internationally recognized independent Philippines, and his wife, First Lady Aurora Quezon.
This location will be the street alignment for the approved MRT-7 named Quezon Memorial MRT Station and the station will be underground.
“Circle” as locals call it, has been undergoing significant changes in order to lure in more tourists both local and foreign. Due to these beautification efforts of the local government the number of visitors is continuously increasing.
The site was originally intended as the grounds of the National Capitol to be built in Quezon City to house the Congress of the Philippines. The location was also part of a larger National Government Center located around Elliptical Road and the Quezon City Quadrangle (made up of the North, South, East, and West Triangles). The NGC was meant to house the three branches of the Philippine government (legislative, executive, and judicial). While the cornerstone for the structure was laid on November 15, 1940, only the foundations were in place when construction was interrupted by the beginning of the Second World War in the Philippines. After World War II, President Sergio Osmeña issued an executive order stipulating the creation of a Quezon Memorial Committee to raise funds by public subscription to erect a memorial to his predecessor, President Manuel L. Quezon. After a national contest was held for the purpose of designing the Quezon Memorial Project, a winning entry by Filipino architect Federico S. Ilustre was selected. Aside from the monument itself, a complex of three buildings, including a presidential library, a museum, and a theater, were also planned to be erected.
The monument would consist of three vertical pylons (representing the three main geographic divisions of the country: Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao), 66 meters (217 ft) tall (Quezon's age when he died), surmounted by three mourning angels holding sampaguita (the national flower) wreaths sculpted by the Italian sculptor Monti.
The three pylons would in turn circumscribe a drum-like two-story structure containing a gallery from which visitors could look down at Quezon's catafalque, modeled after Napoleon Bonaparte's in the Invalides. The gallery and the catafalque below are lit by an oculus, in turn reminiscent of Grant's Tomb.
Construction and completion
Construction of the Quezon Memorial was begun in 1952 but proceeded slowly, in part due to the cost of importing Carrara marble, brought in blocks and then carved and shaped on-site. There were also problems associated with the theft of the marble blocks and the management of memorial funds. The monument was finally completed in 1978, the centennial of Quezon's birth. His remains were reinterred in the memorial on August 19, 1979. It was during that time that by virtue of a presidential decree, President Ferdinand E. Marcos mandated the site as a National Shrine. The National Historical Institute manages, and has authority, over the monument itself, while the Quezon City government administers the park.