Avondale awaits MLK monument submissions judging

Close to a decade ago, there was a design competition to create the Martin Luther King Jr. monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The ultimate goal was to select one idea from 900 designs to honor the dynamically outspoken civil rights leader in a historic monument.

And now it's Cincinnati's turn. 

Over the last few months, the City of Cincinnati has invited residents to share their thoughts on the design of a new Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. In May of 2021 a general call went out for artists, which was narrowed down to seven semi-finalists in Aug 2021. Just recently renderings from the seven artists or artist groups were submitted for judging.

One main goal of this community-oriented approach is to ensure an open and transparent selection process, as well as the final product to represent diversity, equity and inclusion exemplifying a stand of excellence.

But this will not be the first monument dedicated to King in Cincinnati. In 1987, a MLK monument was placed at the intersection of MLK Boulevard and Reading Road. In 2017, the monument was moved to another location in Avondale with a promise from the City of Cincinnati that a monument will be replaced at its original location. 

An expansive western sky provides beautiful light for the future monument.The memorial, which is scheduled for completion in August 2023, will be located at the northeast corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive East and Reading Road in Avondale.

The completion date will coincide with the 60th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

Find the seven semi-finalists that have advanced through the Request for Qualification (RFQ) process and were eligible to submit their respective Requests for Proposal (RFP) and more about the project here

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Read more articles by Kareem A. Simpson.

Raised in the inner city of Covington, Kentucky, Kareem Simpson is an author, innovator, community enthusiast, military veteran, serial entrepreneur, foodie and lover of all things creative.