Fort Wayne Public Art Commission reveals concept for downtown monument honoring MLK

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The City of Fort Wayne Public Art Commission has selected a pair of sculptors that could create a new downtown monument in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Shane Allbritton and Norman Lee were selected among many submissions by the Public Art Commission on Wednesday afternoon. If approved by the City Council, their proposed sculpture will be constructed at the southeast corner of the University of Saint Francis Performing Arts Center parking area at 420 W. Berry St.

“We are so honored to build this monument to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights leaders of Fort Wayne, Indiana,” said Allbritton and Lee.

The MLK monument will stand about 15-feet tall and include quotes from Dr. King’s speech when he visited Fort Wayne in June 1963.

The artists’ sculpture is titled “Pillars of Hope and Justice,” which commemorates the historic visit of Dr. King to Fort Wayne in June 1963. 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 Commission’s recommendation will be passed along to City Council, who will vote for final approval in December. If approved, the final design and development process is slated to begin in January 2022.

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