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Five Finalists Unveiled For MLK Memorial On Boston Common

BOSTON (CBS) -- Five finalists have been selected for a permanent memorial on Boston Common to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

The public is invited to weigh in on the five designs at or in person at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square and at the Bolling Building in Roxbury.

Here's a look at each of the finalists, selected from 126 entries:

The Avenue Of Peace by Yinka Shonibare is envisioned as a "memorial walkway, sculpture and water feature" with a series of 22 inscribed benches.

A 30-foot tall fountain will stand at the center of the avenue. The artist says peace is "central to the design of the this monument," and the long avenue is meant to evoke the famous marches the Kings made.

Boston's King Memorial by Adam Pendleton and Adjaye Associates is an homage to King's "I've Been To The Mountaintop" speech. The black stone structure would overlook the Common up by Beacon Street and the State House. Text from the Kings' speeches will be engraved in the stone.

"In keeping with the Kings' commitment to equality, activism, and social mobilization, we conceive of the memorial as an open site, much like the
Boston Common itself: a public space to be used for gathering, assembly, and public programming, as well as for contemplation and reflection," the designers say.

The Embrace by Hank Willis Thomas was inspired by "the Kings locked together at the frontlines of a march." It would feature 22-foot bronze arms of the Kings, under which visitors could gather.

"As an inhabitable space, it will be impossible to remain disengaged," the designer says.

The Empty Pulpit Monument by Barbara Chase-Riboud "is made of light, stone and bronze." Green rolling hills will surround the monument, embedded with the Kings' quotations.

A column of light will illuminate the night sky and the landscape below, she says.

The Ripple Effects by Wodizcko + Bonder is highlighted by its Beacon Towers that "symbolize the continuing presence and inspiration and impact of the Kings' moral and social leadership."

A memorial ground "ripples out" from the towers to encourage community among the public. It also features a bridge and glass wall featuring the Kings' quotes.

The designs will be on display through Oct. 16 and a panel will choose the winner in November.

A privately funded non-profit has raised $5 million to pay for the memorial.


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