DC

Permanent Black Lives Matter Plaza Installation Complete

The construction project initially cost $4.8 million

NBC Universal, Inc.

Black Lives Matter Plaza is now permanently enshrined as a part of D.C. after renovation construction was completed Thursday, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced.

The District invested $4.8 million into renovating the two-block segment of 16th Street NW, replacing the asphalt surface with cobblestones and creating a 14-foot pedestrian plaza in the center of the road, with one lane of traffic on either side. 

News4's Shomari Stone spoke with a couple who tied the knot on the newly-named Black Lives Matter Plaza.

Highlighting the road is the now-permanent version of the Black Lives Matter mural with durable thermoplastic paint.

“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 a statement. 

Bowser continued 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.” 

Washington, D.C. will say its final goodbyes to Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights icon who was known as the "conscience of Congress" and served there for more than 30 years. A motorcade carrying his body stopped at Black Lives Matter Plaza as it winded through Washington on its way to the U.S. Capitol, where he will be the first black lawmaker to lie in state in the Rotunda.

The plaza was originally painted and renamed by Bowser amid ongoing protests against police brutality during the summer of 2020 in the aftermath of George Floyd's death.

Those entering D.C. on South Capitol Street will see a large, new billboard near Audi Field featuring an oil painting depicting the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. News4’s Jackie Bensen talked to the creator of a project that's been met with some controversy.

The new plaza also features lighted bollards and traffic signal buttons that meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.

The District will invest $3 million more in the plaza over the next few months by “reconstructing nearby sidewalks, installing commemorative works, and adding new benches, lighting, signage, and street trees,” the statement said. 

Contact Us