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Plans for a MLK Jr. monument in Cincinnati are on hold

The winning proposal for a MLK Jr. monument came from Re:Site Studio.

Plans to build a new monument to honor Martin Luther King Junior in Avondale have been put on hold. The city of Cincinnati selected a design team in July to create the plaza at Reading Road and MLK Drive, but canceled the plan the next month.

A city memo dated Aug. 18, 2022, from then interim City Manager John Curp says the decision came after "overwhelming feedback from community members." The memo did not include public comments.

In 2021, Council approved a million dollars for the project to replace a statue that was removed for the creation of the MLK interchange with I-71. In June 2022, artists and artist teams submitted their proposed designs, and the city gathered input during community engagement sessions.

In July, city officials announced they had selected Re:Site Studio and would begin negotiations, with a goal of completion by August 2023, in time for the anniversary of King's I Have a Dream speech.

The memo says after receiving community feedback, the city ended negotiations with Re:Site.

“The city of Cincinnati remains committed to the construction of a world-class and community-centric memorial honoring Dr. King at the northeast corner of MLK Jr. Drive and Reading Road," the memo continues. “The community concerns expressed… indicate a need to reassess how best to achieve this goal.”

The memo states the administration will update council members once it decides how to proceed.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.