Civic Center Park, 2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
This is a Measure T1 Phase 2 project.
Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park is located in Downtown Berkeley and is part of the Civic Center Historic District, which is listed on the National Register for Historic Places and is a registered City of Berkeley Landmark. Within Civic Center Park, there is a decommissioned fountain – it is 50-feet in diameter, with two tiered levels that step up to a cylindrical core where water jets and lights were once mounted. It was decommissioned in the mid-1970s and is planned to be converted into Turtle Island Monument, a reflection of the Indigenous creation story of Turtle Island, to honor all Indigenous people of this hemisphere. The City of Berkeley was the first city in the U.S. to declare Indigenous Peoples Day.
The funding for this project comes from the following sources:
- $300K: Measure T1, Phase 2 Allocation Approved by City Council
- $591K: State Clean California Grant
- $750K: FY24 Parks Tax
- $880K: General Fund allocated in 2023
- $500K (est.): Civic Arts Commission
The design team includes Potawatomi artist Lee Sprague, Navajo designer Marlene Watson, historic artist Scott Parsons, Civic Arts and Parks Recreation and Waterfront staff, PGAdesign Landscape Architects.
A conceptual design was presented to the Landmarks Preservation and Civic Arts Commissions for feedback in November and December 2022 in preparation for an application for a Structural Alteration Permit to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The conceptual designs were revised, and on March 30, 2023, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the Structural Alteration Permit.
I am pleased with the Landmark Preservation Commission’s vote to approve the next step in the decades-long journey. Beginning in 1992, the City of Berkeley took the time to gather and listen to indigenous peoples’ voices and proclaimed this hemisphere’s first Indigenous Peoples’ Day and the Turtle Island Monument, Sprague told Native News Online.
The current Berkeley city officials have reconnected, sought out and listened to indigenous voices, to the Commissioner’s and citizen’s voices to renew the Turtle Island Monument and the 500th year commemoration of finding Columbus on indigenous shores.
(Lee Sprague in Native News Online, April 13, 2023)
To be included in future correspondence and notifications of project meetings or status, please contact the project team, with subject “Please add me to MLK Jr. Civic Center – Turtle Island Monument email list” and provide your preferred contact information.
Complete construction documents, and submit for construction permits. Construction anticipated in FY24.