Lifestyle

What could a King memorial in Boston look like?

The Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington, D.C., was deidcated in 2011.
Alex Wong/Getty Images/file
The Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington, D.C., was deidcated in 2011.

When Mayor Marin J. Walsh announced on Wednesday that he’d support the commission of a Boston monument to Martin Luther King Jr., it was viewed by many as a welcome and much-needed civic development.

Now comes the hard part: Ensuring the piece pays proper tribute to the slain civil rights leader.

Paul English, an entrepreneur who has committed $1 million to the project, set the tone earlier this week when he said in an interview that he wanted the memorial to be “epic.” Asked Wednesday whether he has specific ideas for what he wants it to look like, English acknowledged that he did, but wanted to keep them to himself until the five-person committee had been formed to select an artist in order to avoid any bias.

Advertisement

As organizers get started, meanwhile, they’ll find plenty of previously erected King memorials around the country from which to glean inspiration.

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

From Roanoke to Jacksonville to Indianapolis, monuments, statues, and memorials have been constructed in King’s honor, all offering unique takes on his image, writings, and activism.

Here’s a look at five prominent King memorials across the United States.

Washington, D.C.

Location: West Potomac Park

Artist: Lei Yixin

Advertisement

Dedication: Aug. 28, 2011

About: More than 900 entries were collected in the design competition before those behind the project settled on Lei in 2007. The 30-foot monument serves as a nod to King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Lei produced 80 percent of the sculpture in his studio in China before finishing the remaining work on-site. Upon the work’s completion, King became the first African-American to be honored with a memorial on the National Mall. “The final design includes a massive carved mountain with a slice pulled out of it, symbolizing the ‘Stone of Hope’ being hewn from the ‘Mountain of Despair,’” according to theNational Park Service website.

Atlanta

Address: Georgia Capitol grounds

Artist: Martin Dawe

Dedication: Aug. 28, 2017

Advertisement

About: In 2014, Georgia governor Nathan Deal signed legislation that paved the way for the monument on State Capitol grounds. When the original sculptor, Andy Davis, was killed in a motorcycle accident, the committee behind the project tapped Dawe, a Boston University alumnus, to design the monument. The statue of King, which is 8 feet tall and depicts him carrying an overcoat and papers, was created using Georgia-sourced materials.

The Martin Luther King Jr. was unveiled on the state Capitol grounds in Atlanta in August.
David Goldman/Associated Press/file
The Martin Luther King Jr. was unveiled on the state Capitol grounds in Atlanta in August.

San Francisco

Location: Yerba Buena Gardens

Artist: Houston Conwill

Dedication: October 1993

About: A waterfall — 20 feet tall and 50 feet wide — welcomes visitors to what Yerba Buena Gardens calls the third-largest King memorial in the country, behind those in Washington and Atlanta. The waterfall is said to represent King’s vision of peace and unity, and behind it, a dozen glass panels are inscribed with King’s “inspiring words, poems, and images from the civil rights movement,” according tothe Gardens’ website.

The Martin Luther King Jr. memorial at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco was dedicated in 1993.
Jim Wilson/The New York Times/file 2007
The Martin Luther King Jr. memorial at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco was dedicated in 1993.

Denver

Location: City Park

Artist: Ed Dwight

Dedication: June 2002

About: Commissioned by the city of Denver, the statue is composed of granite and cast bronze. According to Dwight, it is meant to depict King, who occupies the primary pedestal, standing atop the shoulders of Gandhi, Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, and Sojourner Truth — all of whom are also depicted in bronze.

The Martin Luther King Jr. statue in Denver was deidcated in 2002.
RJ Sangosti/Denver Post via Getty Images/File
The Martin Luther King Jr. statue in Denver was deidcated in 2002.

Austin, Texas

Location: University of Texas-Austin

Artists: Jeffrey Varilla and Anna Koh-Varilla

Dedication: September 1999

About: When the 12-foot bronze statue of King was erected nearly 20 years ago, it was the result of a 12-year effort. It also marked the first statue of an African-American in the campus’s then 116-year history. The statue depicts King in a scholar’s robe, arm outstretched, and its creators told reporters at the time that they hoped it would serve as a beacon to bring people together.

The statue of Martin Luther King Jr. at the University of Texas at Austin was deidcated in 1999.
Bruce Harper/The New York Times/file 2004
The statue of Martin Luther King Jr. at the University of Texas at Austin was deidcated in 1999.

Dugan Arnett can be reached atdugan.arnett@globe.com.