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At Last! Civil Rights Center to Rise Up Downtown

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The contractor for Atlanta's National Center for Civil and Human Rights has filed for land development permits at the Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard site where the scaled-back shrine will rise. This significant step toward construction comes, in typical Atlanta fashion, nearly seven months after a fanciful "groundbreaking" at the site drew, in the words of Atlanta magazine, "the equivalent of Atlanta royalty" — that is, Kings, Youngs, Lowerys and a Massell or two. (Should we make these gatherings more purposeful and call them "Permitting Prayer Vigils"?) In any case, Cousins Properties could begin hoisting cranes and bringing the 43,560-square-foot center out of the ground as early as next month. The $75 million project, you might recall, was reconfigured from plans for a much-larger $125 million center that were crippled by the recession. Original forecasts called for the center, the brainchild of former Mayor Shirley Franklin, to open last year. In 2009, project leaders selected designs from five architectural teams as finalists. For fun, let's have a look at those after the jump ...

In 2009, the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta announced five architecture teams and possible designs for its new home.

The Freelon Group of Durham, NC partnered with HOK of Atlanta and eventually won, with the locked-arms concept. See several incarnations of that design, and all the other finalists, below:


· Center for Civil Rights development permits filed [Atlanta Business Chronicle]
· Blank Family Foundation gives $1 million to Civil Rights center [Saporta Report]
· Legends, leaders on hand for civil rights center groundbreaking [Atlanta Magazine]