May 31, 2023 - The City of Fort Wayne has provided updates for public parking and traffic restrictions surrounding the dedication of the Pillars of Hope and Justice public art monument on June 5 in downtown Fort Wayne.
Pillars of Hope and Justice commemorates the June 5, 1963 visit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Fort Wayne, during which he gave a speech at the former Scottish Rite Auditorium sharing his vision for nonviolent resistance.
King’s son, Martin Luther King III, will travel to Fort Wayne for the dedication of Pillars of Hope and Justice, which will begin at 6 p.m. at the northwest corner of West Main and Ewing streets. King will be joined in making remarks at the event by Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, artists Shane Allbritton and Norman Lee, and the Rev. Dr. Bill McGill, as well as City Council members Michelle Chambers and Russ Jehl. It was their February 2020 City Council resolution that began the process for the creation of a public display commemorating the words and visit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Fort Wayne in 1963.
The dedication will be followed by the 60th Anniversary Celebration, which will be held in the nearby USF Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center (the former Scottish Rite Auditorium), at 7 p.m. and will include guest of honor Martin Luther King III, remarks from Mayor Tom Henry, information on the reconstruction of Dr. King’s speech from Todd Pelfry, Executive Director of the History Center and a recitation of Dr. King’s speech by Rev. Dr. Bill McGill with Imani Baptist Church.
Free public parking will be available in the lot directly across West Berry Street from the Goldstine Performing Arts Center, with access to the lot restricted to its west entrance along Fairfield Avenue between Berry and Main streets.
In addition, the Fort Wayne Police Department and City of Fort Wayne have announced traffic restrictions during the dedication to ensure public safety and ease of pedestrian movement. Because of these restrictions and ongoing construction in and around the downtown area, those planning to attend are encouraged to allow plenty of time to arrive and park.
The following streets will have traffic either partially or fully restricted before and during the event:
- The southbound lane of Ewing Street from the Superior Street roundabout to West Main Street will be closed to traffic from 5:30 p.m. until after the dedication ceremony.
- The eastbound and westbound lanes of West Main Street between Fairfield Avenue and Ewing Street will be closed to traffic from 5:30 p.m. until after the dedication ceremony.
- West Berry Street between Fairfield Avenue and Ewing Street will be closed to traffic after the dedication ceremony as pedestrians walk to the Goldstine Performing Arts Center.
Designed by artists Shane Allbritton and Norman Lee with RE:site Studio, the creation of Pillars of Hope and Justice was made possible with funds from the City of Fort Wayne; Harriett Inskeep; The Journal Gazette Foundation; The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne; and the Fort Wayne Public Art Commission.
The sculpture dedication and 60th Anniversary Celebration were made possible through partnership with the Fort Wayne Public Art Commission; the City of Fort Wayne; Arts United; the Canterbury School’s Jonathan Hancock Lecture Series; the University of Saint Francis; and Sweetwater.
For more information, visit MLKMonumentFW.org.