MLK Monuments Project moving forward


Benton Harbor City Commissioners have approved the design for the Unified Civic Monuments Project, the monument to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that’s planned for Dwight P. Mitchell City Center Park.

At a meeting this past week, the project’s Mike Nadolski told commissioners the effort will unite Benton Harbor and St. Joseph because there will be a monument in each city.

“This all volunteer-led project, organized under the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph Arts and Cultural Social Justice group, has worked tirelessly for over three years now to being this public art gift to our communities,” Nadolski said.

The commission in December tabled the monument’s design because exact dimensions for it weren’t available and they wanted to be sure it wouldn’t take up too much space at the park. Speaking Monday, Commissioner Edward Isom said at long last, the project is greenlit.

“Sometimes you’ve got to hang in there, you’ve got to persevere, and this commission asked those hard questions and threw it around and turned it around and twisted it up, but there’s always a way,” Isom said.

Isom has worked on the project for a few years.

The plan calls for a statue of Dr. King and a child who’s being invited to take a seat at a table with King. There will also be a granite wall with a window behind King.

The Unified Civic Monuments Project is in its final fundraising stage and the hope is for work to start this year. Nadolski said there will be an official groundbreaking announced soon.