[Picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Memorial Commons]

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commons

The Commons between Founders Library and Holmes Student Center originally contained a block of residential houses bounded by Lucinda Avenue, Normal Road, College Avenue and Carroll Avenue. NIU's governing board approved Martin Luther King Junior Commons as the name for this area on December 8, 1983. The brick and concrete walkways and landscaping work was completed in 1992. The memorial sculpture created by Dann Nardi and chosen from a competition launched in the fall of 1990, was put in place in the fall of 1991. In 1993, sculptor Peter Fagan donated the life-size bust of Dr. King that sits on the northern end of the commons. The large berm and concrete stands on the west side of the Commons designate the Free Speech Area and continue the longstanding tradition that the Commons area has had since the 1960s as a place for the expression of ideas, the gathering of groups, and the commencement of civil protest.

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