According to The Washington Post, after renaming the two-block stretch of 16th Street NW to Black Lives Matter Plaza in the summer of 2020, it is now a permanent multimillion-dollar concrete installation.
Bowser said on Thursday that construction was completed on Black Lives Matter Plaza. There is now one lane for traffic on each side of the road, a 14-foot-wide pedestrian zone in the middle of the road for visitors to view the Black Lives Matter sign in the giant letters.
When we unveiled Black Lives Matter Plaza to the world in the summer of 2020, we sent a strong message about our #DCValues – that Black lives and Black humanity matter.
Now we have turned the mural into a monument.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) October 28, 2021
Mayor Bowser released a statement regarding the plaza.
“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,” said Mayor Bowser in a written 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.”
The construction to transform Black Lives Matter Plaza cost the city $4.8 million. In the near future, an additional $3 million investment will allow for the further construction of a more cohesive public space around the monument. It will reconstruct nearby sidewalks, install commemorative works, and add additional new benches, lighting, signage, and street trees.