It was in the city of Boston that Martin Luther King Jr., who had come to study systematic theology at Boston University, decided to become the civil rights activist that marks his legacy today. It is also the place where he met Coretta Scott, the equally influential racial and social justice activist whom he would later come to marry.
A new memorial, to be located at Boston Common, seeks to honor this legacy and its connection to the city. Working with the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, the nonprofit MLK Boston has sought proposals from architects, artists, landscape architects and others alike to create a commemorative addition to America's oldest public park.
After receiving 126 submissions, the committee chose five finalist teams to develop a design for the memorial. Announced yesterday, their proposals have been released and are available for public comment.
“Each one of these five proposals does a tremendous job of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King and their ideals, teachings and values,” said Mayor Walsh. The city and MLK Boston will now review each one, considering public input, aesthetic value, originality and historical analysis to choose a finalist. Below, a look at the five competing designs.
'Empty Pulpit Monument' by Barbara Chase-Riboud with Michael Rosenfeld Gallery
'Boston's King Memorial' by David Adjaye and Adam Pendleton with FuturePace
'The Embrace' by Hank Willis Thomas with MASS Design Group
'The Ripple Effects' by Wodiczko + Bonder and Maryann Thompson Architects
'Avenue of Peace' by Yinka Shonibare
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