I thank Mr. Brown, the Westside Historical Society, Malcolm Crawford and the Austin African-American Business Networking Association for taking swift action [Westside Historical Society continues making history, Malcolm Crawford, Feb. 23]. I ask that you consider approaching several agencies regarding funding to preserve and relocate this statue. This would include such places like the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago Park District, and/or Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. I suggest that the statue be relocated to an area where Martin Luther King “hung out” when he lived on the West Side. Locations that come to mind are the historic Douglas Boulevard near Stone Temple, or 3411 W. Douglas Blvd, which housed Friendship Baptist Church. Another alternative would be to use the statue as an eastern gateway to the Austin Business District, as part of a streetscape that could be financed through the Alderman’s menu, TIF/infrastructure dollars or other department of Transportation dollars.
Valerie F. Leonard
I am sorry to hear this beautiful statue has been removed from our neighborhood. There is, however, a pedestal waiting for a statue in Garfield Park. The Doughboy was removed and placed at Soldier Field. The pedestal is just waiting for a grand statue like this one. With a pedestal already built, a huge amount of money could be saved. Garfield Park is a wonderful spot.
If the powers in our ward don’t see the importance of such an undertaking, it would be a slap in the face of Dr. Martin L. King Jr. OK alderman, let’s get busy.