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Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights Unveils New Design

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights revealed a new $70 million scaled-down, economically-sustainable design.

The new design was unveiled Monday evening at the W Atlanta-Downtown, which is only a couple of blocks away from the future center.

The original design, which won a design competition in 2009, was of two interlocking arms, a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement.

The new design, done by the same architectural team — North Carolina-based Freelon Group and HOK-Atlanta — that won the competition three years ago.

The new design calls for a three-story structure between 35,000 and 42,000 square feet. It will have about 18,000 square feet of exhibit space: a gallery to display the papers of Martin Luther King Jr. on the lowest level, a civil rights gallery on the second and third levels, and a human rights gallery also on the third level.

The building will house a special events space on the ground level that will be big enough to hold 270 people for a lecture and 225 people for a seated dinner. The top floor will boast a broadcast studio that can produce videos and audio recordings.

The project is estimated at $70 million, the amount of money the center has already raised for construction, exhibits and acquisition of special collections. That includes $5 million set aside for an endowment.

Not only will the center open with no debt, the attraction will be self-sustaining from day one, said Doug Shipman, the CEO of the center.

“We have raised the funds to build the first phase,” Shipman said in an interview. “We plan to open on Memorial Day 2014.”

The center will overlook Pemberton Place and be on the same block as the Georgia Aquarium and The World of Coca-Cola, across from Centennial Olympic Park. The two-year project starts June 27.

Source: Maria Saporta, Atlanta Business Chronicle



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