The City of Atlanta installed four new benches for the MLK Corridor Project featuring life-size bronze sculptures of local civil rights leaders Dr. Rita Samuels, Dorothy Bolden, Rev. Hosea Williams and W.A. Scott. The benches will reside along Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive. in front of Mozley Park. The latest pieces are the second of seven public art installations commissioned for the City’s $3.7 million MLK Innovation Corridor Project and celebrate Atlanta’s legacy and global influence in the Civil Rights movement.
“Designated spaces and art installations such as these provide a permanent space to reflect on the efforts of those who came before us, and what we can do to further the ongoing work of ensuring equality and dignity for all,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “The MLK Corridor Project is a perfect example of the City, its residents and partners working together to improve and preserve the great legacy of our communities.”
Created by renowned sculptor David Alan Clark, the artworks were selected by a committee with representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, the Mozley Park community and local artists after a national call for artists in January 2018.
“These sculptures celebrate four amazing local leaders and their unique stories,” said Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs is excited to bring these world-class artworks to the City and memorialize the legacy of the Civil Rights movement.”
The MLK Corridor Project, managed by the City of Atlanta’s Department of Transportation, spans approximately 7.2 miles from Northside Drive to Fulton Industrial Boulevard. This project addresses vehicular, ADA and pedestrian safety concerns, while providing additional pedestrian and bicycle access by implementing new multi-use trails.
A portion of the project, from Ollie Street to Northside Drive, is substantially complete, with the remainder of the project from Ollie Street to Fulton Industrial Boulevard expected to be completed by spring 2021. Work also includes a protected bike and pedestrian facility from James P. Brawley Drive to Northside Drive.
“The MLK Corridor is an outstanding representation of the complete street concept of urban infrastructure design and the City of Atlanta’s Vision Zero commitment,” said ATLDOT Commissioner Josh Rowan. “The corridor employs a variety of transportation improvements – resurfacing, restriping, signalized pedestrian crossings, bicycle lanes, medians and landscaping — to reduce accidents and improve the quality of life for area residents.”
The artworks will join the City’s Public Art Collection on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. A celebratory event to recognize the improvements to the corridor and public art additions is forthcoming.
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