Sunday, April 06, 2014

Unveiling Of Houston MLK Jr. Plaza Statue Delayed

Across the street from the soon to be opened MacGregor Park-MLK Station on the METRORail Purple Line a memorial plaza is being built.  

That plaza will contain an 8 foot bronze statue of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 30 year old 'Tree of Life' that was planted by the Black Heritage Society back in 1983 in the middle of the MLK Blvd esplanade at Old Spanish Trail. 

The Black Heritage Society founded by Ovide Duncantell in 1974 was instrumental in getting South Park Blvd. renamed for Dr. King in 1978 and starting the parade held on his January 15 birthday.   He and the BHS have been pushing the city of Houston for 33 years to get a statue honoring the Good Doctor erected at that site.  

When METRO began planning the Purple Line route down MLK Blvd they were unaware the 'Tree of Life' was in the middle of the planned MacGregor Park-MLK Station they were set to build in the esplanade.

In 2012 METRO agreed to move the 30 year old oak tree and contribute funds to build the memorial plaza across the street.    

The statue was scheduled to be unveiled on Friday, but unfortunately was damaged just prior to being shipped to Houston and is being repaired. 

The candlelight vigil went on as scheduled.  The rescheduled date for the statue unveiling and a parade starting at Griggs Rd heading north up MLK toward the statue and MacGregor Park that was supposed to take place yesterday along with other events connected to the statue unveiling has yet to be determined or announced.

The memorial plaza was completed in January.   The theme of it has the Tree of Life as part of the Atlanta Birth Axis and a Memphis Assassination Axis with 8 foot wide sidewalks.  The statue will be located in the center including a four foot pedestal it will be anchored to that raises the total height to 12 feet. 

Houston MLK, Jr. Memorial and Statue Unveiling RescheduledPink granite benches for sitting and meditation, pavement lights, a granite donor wall and MLK quotes verified by the King Center from the 1963 'Letter From Birmingham City Jail' laid in the granite flooring complete the design of the memorial plaza that will have Houston join cities such as Atlanta and Washington D.C. which have memorial plazas dedicated to the memory of Dr. King.     

Looking forward to seeing the H-town version when the statue is finally added to the completed plaza. 

It's been a long time coming, and it will definitely be a nice addition to MacGregor Park and that corner..   

No comments: