City council to discuss new downtown monument honoring MLK

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne City Council has voted unanimously to discuss giving $150,000 to help construct a new downtown monument honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The sculpture is titled “Pillars of Hope and Justice,” and it commemorates the historic visit of Dr. King to Fort Wayne in June 1963. It was designed by Shane Allbritton and Norman Lee.

The monument features six pillars set in a circular configuration around a stone or concrete plaza. Each pillar will evoke ancient architectural pillars and growing reeds of papyrus, which represents Dr. King’s vision of nonviolent resistance. The sculptural, steel forms will be waterjet cut with words from Dr. King’s speech in June 1963. The pillars are planned to be approximately 15 feet tall and include LED lights installed in the center of each pillar.

The project will cost $250,000. Of the total, $100,000 will be coming from the City’s Community Development 2022 budget and an additional $150,000 is being requested from Legacy Funding.

If approved, the proposed sculpture will be contracted at southeast corner of the University of Saint Francis Performing Arts Center parking area at 420 W. Berry St. beginning January 2022.

The City of Fort Wayne Public Arts Commission is anticipating unveiling the monument on June 5, 2023 as part of a 60th Anniversary commemoration of Dr. King’s speech in Fort Wayne.

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