Permanent Black Lives Matter Plaza installation now complete in DC

D.C.’s permanent Black Lives Matter Plaza is complete, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District’s Department of Transportation said in a statement Thursday.

The monument is on 16th Street between K and H streets NW directly across from the White House.

“When we created Black Lives Matter Plaza in June 2020, we sent a strong message that Black Lives Matter, and that power has always been and always will be with well-meaning people. Today, we have transformed the mural into a monument,” Bowser said in the statement.

“One of my proudest memories of Black Lives Matter Plaza is when, in his final days, Congressman John Lewis came to see it for himself. He recognized Black Lives Matter Plaza as good trouble, and we know it will remain a gathering place for reflection, planning and action, as we work toward a more perfect union.”

In this June 7, 2020 photo provided by the Executive Office of District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, Mayor Bowser and John Lewis look over a section of 16th Street that’s been renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington. (Khalid Naji-Allah/Executive Office of the Mayor via AP)

The installation stretches for two blocks along 16th Street, leading to the White House. The 48-foot-wide mural is part of a redesign of the roadway to accommodate cars and pedestrians.

“With 16th Street NW being a critical federal highway route and the collaboration needed among all local stakeholders, this was a very large and prominent project for our team,” DDOT Director Everett Lott said in a statement. “We are very proud that with the Mayor’s support, we were able to implement an accelerated work schedule and so quickly deliver it as a national landmark for everyone to enjoy.”

According to a news release, the recent work on Black Lives Matter Plaza cost $4.8 million.

In the coming months, an additional $3 million will be spent to create “a more cohesive public space around the monument by reconstructing nearby sidewalks, installing commemorative works, and adding new benches, lighting, signage, and street trees.”

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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