Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 12:45 EDT

National Center for Civil and Human Rights Celebrates Groundbreaking

June 27, 2012

ATLANTA, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The National Center for Civil and Human Rights breaks ground today with a shovel ceremony at the global institution’s future site, Pemberton Place. Center CEO Doug Shipman was joined by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and a host of other government officials, civic leaders and celebrities to celebrate this significant milestone in the Center’s progress. The Center, which recently announced a phased construction and funding plan, will be debt free when it opens in 2014.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120627/CL31823)

“Our vision of opening a cultural institution where people can learn about global civil and human rights struggles continues with this significant milestone,” said Shipman, who was tapped to lead the Center in 2007. “With generous support from Invest Atlanta and private funding as well as the expertise of the industry’s most respected visionaries, the Center is poised to impact global dialogue and educate millions.”

In January, Invest Atlanta (formerly called the Atlanta Development Authority) unanimously approved Tax Allocation District funding and groundbreaking plans as part of a phased approach. The Phase I budget of $65 million is fully funded, providing a clear path to financial stability for the Center.

“It is fitting that the National Center for Civil and Human Rights will be located right here in Atlanta,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “The Center will chronicle our nation’s journey towards equality and our collective struggle for civil and human rights, and when it opens, we will be able to share these stories with people from around the world.”

The three-story structure will feature approximately 18,000 square feet of exhibit space and will include a gallery for the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection (King Papers) as well as civil rights and human rights exhibitions. The building will also offer special events spaces and a state-of-the-art broadcast studio. The approximate construction time is 22 months.

The Center will also have a positive economic impact on the City of Atlanta, adding approximately 600 jobs, $50 million in revenue and attracting approximately 400,000 visitors annually.

People across the globe can demonstrate their support for important issues like women’s rights, LGBT rights, immigration and human trafficking by making online donations to the Center at www.rightsgift.org.

Other museums and institutions worldwide are also celebrating the Center’s groundbreaking as seen in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrVbpeJICg4&feature=youtu.be

Modified, Sustainable Design
Earlier this month, the Center unveiled the updated architectural rendering, created by the award-winning team of architects at Freelon/HOK. The 35,000+ square foot, LEED-certified building features a central hub of action and transformation cradled between two formidable structural walls representing hands. The mixed material building project is designed to be environmentally sustainable and visually appealing, welcoming visitors to a contemporary hub dedicated to civil and human rights.

In response to tough economic conditions, the original design was modified to ensure that the Center could operate on a 100% self-sustaining model when it opens. This updated design approach also allows the Center to add two additional phases to the project in the coming years.

Phases two and three include space for traveling and temporary exhibitions as well as an auditorium. The projected cost for each additional phase is approximately $15 million. Fundraising continues for programming, exhibitions, endowment and the additional phases.

A Global Institution
The Center will be located in Atlanta’s Pemberton Place adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park, The New World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium. It will offer a unique space for visitors to learn about the evolving human rights story and commemorate the historical pursuit of civil rights in America.

Through advanced technologies and insightful programming, the Center will also help foster dialogue between multiple generations as the stories of unsung heroes and compelling facts are retold in a global context.

In an unprecedented collaboration combining theater and design, the New York-based architect David Rockwell and his firm Rockwell Group are partnering with director, writer and producer George C. Wolfe and human rights expert Jill Savitt to create a unique visitor experience for the Center.

About The Center
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights will display The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection (King Papers), the award-winning Without Sanctuary lynching exhibit and serve as a hub for ongoing dialogue, attracting world-renowned speakers and artists who work on a variety of human rights topics. Located in Downtown Atlanta at Pemberton Place and equipped with broadcast and event space, the Center will host civil and human rights conversations among scholars, organizations and the public. For more information, visit www.civilandhumanrights.org.

SOURCE The National Center for Civil and Human Rights

Source: PR Newswire