Honoring The Legacy Of Martin Luther King Jr., One Street At A Time

Apr 25, 2013

A few years ago, St. Louis non-profit organization Beloved Streets of America conducted a study about streets throughout the country which bear the name of Martin Luther King Jr.

The study found the majority of MLK streets are unsafe and crime-ridden.  Many are “located in distressed neighborhoods, considered areas where predominately poor blacks live, and viewed as places where whites and non-blacks seldom travel,” according to the organization.

Beloved Streets of America plans to embark on an effort to revitalize MLK streets throughout the country, starting in St. Louis.

"St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh spoke with Melvin White, the organization’s president and CEO, who said he got the idea after seeing the successful redevelopment of the Delmar Loop.

“Just a mile down the road, I just happened to drive down and look at the name on the street sign, Martin Luther King, but what was surrounding Martin Luther King were drugs, poverty, abandoned buildings, and it just didn’t match up with what his legacy is about,” White said.

Marsh also spoke with architect Derek Lauer, who is behind Beloved Streets of America’s master plan and the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Park, to be placed at the corner of Hamilton Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Related Events

  • A fundraising event on Monday, April 29 at CEL the Creative Exchange Lab, 2720 N. 14 St., from 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Beginning May 11, on the second Saturday of the month, the BSA plans to hold public events,which will include food and music at the site of the future Martin Luther King Legacy Park.

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