Contact: Shawn Uhlman, PDC, 503-823-7994
August 27, 2012
The gateway reads, “they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dozens of community members joined Mayor Sam Adams today to celebrate the completion of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard Gateway and Heritage Markers at an opening ceremony held at the site. The community-driven project marks the entrance to the boulevard at NE Hancock Street and pays tribute to the area’s long history of cultural diversity.
Funding for the $650,000 project came from the Portland Development Commission, which worked closely for several years with the Portland Bureau of Transportation and a committed group of 14 citizen advisors.
The gateway has been a longstanding community goal, first identified in neighborhood plans adopted by Portland City Council in 1993. The new plaza includes open space for community gatherings and honors the history of Portland’s northeast neighborhoods. Four heritage markers, each standing 20 feet tall, hold interpretive panels that tell the stories of community members and their contributions to the city. An iconic weathered steel screen symbolizes the strength and endurance of the community as well as a connection to the railroad and ship building industries which employed many of the early immigrants who settled in northeast Portland. Two fragments from King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech are displayed on the screen walls.
Mayor Adams said, “Northeast Portland now has a worthy gateway to this historic community. It’s been an honor to work with the people who pushed so hard for this project, and to celebrate the rich cultural legacy that this landmark represents.”