Charleston City Council unanimously approved an agreement Tuesday for a new memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. at Liberty Square.
The memorandum of understanding between the city and the National Park Service calls for placing the new King memorial at the 4-acre downtown park next to the S.C. Aquarium and the Park Service's Fort Sumter Visitors Center.
The Park Service still needs to sign off, but that should not cause much delay. The citizens' committee working on the memorial has not settled on a design or price. Once it does, it will need to raise money to build it.
Tim Stone, superintendent of the Fort Sumter National Monument, told council members that the Park Service looks forward to seeing it completed.
"We fully support this monument," Stone said. "We've been partners with the city since its initial concept, and we find it absolutely appropriate for it to be at Liberty Square."
Councilman William Dudley Gregorie cast the sole no vote, saying, "I would assume we were beyond a letter of intent. I don't understand why it's necessary."
Mayor Joe Riley said the letter is a necessary step toward gaining the Park Service's formal approval.
The city's only current public tribute to the late civil rights leader is a street sign marking the neighborhood around Spring and Cannon streets as the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial District.
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