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Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial: The Latest Architecture and News

Adjaye, MASS Design Group and Shonibare Among 5 Finalists for Boston's MLK Memorial

Nonprofit MLK Boston has released the final five designs for a monument to civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. The finalists include a range of offices like Adjaye Associates, Maryann Thompson Architects and MASS Design Group, as well as artists like Yinka Shonibare, Barbara Chase-Riboud and Walter Hood. As reported by Curbed Boston, the city is working with MLK Boston to make the monument part of a larger initiative that includes an educational center in Roxbury and $1 million endowment for programming related to the Kings.

The Embrace. Image Courtesy of MASS Design Group and Hank Willis ThomasAvenue of Peace. Image Courtesy of Yinka ShonibareBoston’s King Memorial. Image Courtesy of Adam Pendleton, Adjaye Associates, Future\Pace, and David ReinfurtEmpty Pulpit Monument. Image Courtesy of Barbara Chase-Riboud+ 14

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Controversy

Courtesy of Flickr CC License / peru lili eta marije. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
Courtesy of Flickr CC License / peru lili eta marije. Used under Creative Commons

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar recently gave the National Park Service 30 days to revise a truncated and controversial quote inscribed on the newly built Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. The inscription, paraphrased by architect Ed Jackson Jr. and artist Lei Yixin, turns a speech about humility into a quote that makes MLK look like, in the words of Maya Angelou, an “arrogant twit.” Thankfully this will be corrected, but it remains unclear to me how the design team will satisfyingly right this wrong.