National Center for Civil and Human Rights Unveils New Architectural Rendering

Civil Rights 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.

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights unveiled the new architectural rendering for the Center, created by the award-winning team of architects at Freelon/HOK. The Center also announced that it has secured Phase I of funding, which enables the Center to operate on a 100% self-sustaining model. The groundbreaking will take place in June and the Center plans to open in mid-2014.

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 haven dedicated to civil and human rights.

“This building concept captures the essence of the Center’s global mission in a meaningful, artistic way,” said Doug Shipman, chief executive officer of the Center. “Our phased approach to funding and construction provides a clear path to financial stability, which makes our vision of opening a cultural institution where people can learn about global civil and human rights struggles possible.”

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 and includes: The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr., Collection (King Papers); the Without Sanctuary lynching exhibit; civil and human rights presentations envisioned by acclaimed artist George C. Wolfe and human rights authority Jill Savitt; a broadcast studio capable of live video and audio production; meeting spaces; and a retail store. The approximate construction time is 24 months.

The Center 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. Powerful imagery, compelling artifacts and poignant storytelling will help foster dialogue between multiple generations as the stories of unsung heroes and compelling facts of our complex world are retold in a global context. 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.