Town Square

Post a New Topic

City Hall plaza to be named after Kings

Original post made on Oct 30, 2007

Palo Alto's Civic Center Plaza will be renamed in January in honor of civil rights leaders Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King, and free speech, the City Council agreed Monday night.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 30, 2007, 1:17 AM

Comments (35)

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2007 at 8:39 am

What a waste of money. Most people will still call it City Hall Plaza just like people still call Candlestick Park Candlestick Park.


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 30, 2007 at 8:51 am

"As a designated "free-speech zone," the Civic Center Plaza is an apt namesake of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, Councilwoman LaDoris Cordell said Monday."

Does this mean that other areas in the city are not "free speech zones"?
Is speech regulated in certain parts of the city?

"The Palo Alto Historical Association's Landmarks and Streets Committee also considered the proposal and "saw no objection" to renaming Lytton or the Civic Center Plaza."

ANd if they would have objected???


Posted by The process is our life, a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2007 at 9:19 am

I like these parts from the PA Daily coverage of the story:
Web Link

"Several council members objected to the commemoration on the grounds that the Kings did not have enough local significance and that the community had not been adequately involved in the renaming process."

Yes, let's get the whole community involved in this--maybe we need to hire some consultants, bring it to the Planning and Traffic Commission, set up a blue ribbon panel, do some more study and then bring it back befor the council in let's say 10 years.


"I think we should take a little longer to make this decision," Mossar said, before making an unsuccessful substitute motion to have the Historic Resources Board debate what to call City Hall Plaza, since their prior discussion had been focused on the best location to name after the Kings. "

Dena- just vote on it, this did not need to be dragged out any further. As Cordell pointed out we do not need to make this another victim of the PA process


No wonder nothing gets done with this council.


Posted by I can't believe it!, a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2007 at 9:50 am

Every day the Palo Alto City Council looks sillier and sillier. $10,000 for a plaque?


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 30, 2007 at 11:05 am

Glad we are spending time on the important stuff ;-)


Posted by Palo Parent, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 30, 2007 at 12:19 pm

Just like nature provides us with warnings in advance i.e.: brightly colored poisonous toads. This Council makes it so very easy to decide whom not to re-elect.


Posted by R Wray, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 30, 2007 at 1:13 pm

They should have named the plaza after "The Color of Palo Alto". After all, it's his stuff that dominates the plaza. And his "garage" would serve as the plague.


Posted by Mary Carlstead, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 30, 2007 at 1:34 pm

Let's see....

$10K for a plaque to honor the Kings in :Civic Center Plaza"
$250K for "Desination Palo Alto"
$150K plus benefits (first year) and climbing for an environmental czar who evidnently has no 'job description'
$250K for a miserable website
$6M to refurbrish City Hall

This in a city that can't afford American flags to line University Avenue on the 4th of July or Veteran's Day of Flag Day.

I can't wait until the NEXT election!!



Posted by Carlos, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 30, 2007 at 1:34 pm

terrible idea


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 30, 2007 at 2:03 pm

Mary--well said. Don;t forget that the city, run by Frank benest, also does not lower the flag willy-nilly to honor firefighters killed in the line of duty.


Posted by Casey, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 30, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Just when you think the City Council is out of touch, they go ahead and top themselves. Seriously. I looked around online and $2-3,000 buys a huge bronze plaque. So, when the Council allocates $10,000, it demonstrates a fundamental insensitivity to the people of Palo Alto who have to foot the bill.

Secondly, I think wasting $10,000 on a bronze plaque seriously dishonors Dr. King and his legacy. You cannot solve racism with $10,000; however, allocating those funds for educational scholarships, library books, or small business loans will do more to help the disadvantaged that Dr. King advocated for than affixing a piece of fabricated metal onto a stone edifice at City Hall.


Posted by Jack, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 30, 2007 at 2:28 pm

Remember what Chris Rock said, "If you ever find yourself on MLK Street, don't walk, RUN"!! There is a reason for him saying that!
Total waste of money. I guess some people feel that they need to do this to feel good.


Posted by Casey, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 30, 2007 at 2:32 pm

To its credit, the City Council chose not to rename Lytton Plaza. I still remember when Burger King was open at Lytton Plaza. Imagine the confusion if Burger King was still there and the City Council decided to rename Lytton Plaza to (Burger) King Plaza.


Posted by Citizen, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 30, 2007 at 2:35 pm

Why didn't we sell naming rights and actually generate some revenue? Google Plaza? VMware Lane? HP Zone?

All you need to look for is the word "incumbent" on your ballot - pick anyone but "incumbent"


Posted by Its a ruse, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 30, 2007 at 2:38 pm

When the staff doesn't want something to happen they put a huge price tag on it. I've seen it before and that's how they probably came up with a $10,000 plaque.
Casey is right about the cost.
Nonsense and a smoke screen. Tell Mr. Benest to get real and stop wasting our money. And he shouldn't take his hostility out on councilmember Cordell.


Posted by WHY !!!!!!!!!!!!, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 30, 2007 at 3:27 pm

What did this issue _EVEN_ come up.

Fire the person who brought this issue up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Maybe we actually are)



Posted by Mary Carlstead, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 30, 2007 at 3:43 pm

Unfortunatley this time there are NO incumbents running. We have to wait two more years.
MC


Posted by Puzzled, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2007 at 3:50 pm

It's very safe, and good for the resume, to suggest something like Cordell and Drekmeier brought forward with this resolution. It's an "accomplishment" that will look good in certain key political circles, as one forward's one career.

I have no doubt that the intentions behind this initiative were good, and that the creators of the initiative mean what they say about the Kings and our society. The Kings are cultural heros of the highest order.

That said, the midless naming of streets and other places after vey well known cultural heros - including the Kings - begins to ring hollow after while.

Why we couldn't have renamed the Plaza after a local or regional civil rights hero, is beyond me.


Posted by Publius, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 30, 2007 at 8:53 pm

Yikes. $10,000. Political correctness is expensive. Remind me again why we've selected ML King, after whom every other main boulevard and public square in America is already named? How about a figure more closely associated with Palo Alto -- or even California?


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 31, 2007 at 6:45 am

Truth in advertising would also mention Dr King's assisting in enslaving far more people than Lincoln freed.


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 31, 2007 at 8:44 am

All right Walter, I'll bite - where does that one come from?


Posted by Corey, a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 31, 2007 at 9:48 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] If the plaza was to be re-named at all, it should honor a local hero. Good riddance to the council members who supported this and are not running for re-election. Hopefully the incumbents that voted for it will follow along with them.


Posted by Idea, a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2007 at 10:36 am

Idea: How about naming it Birge Clark Plaza ?


Posted by sara, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 31, 2007 at 2:39 pm


What a waste of money for a hollow gesture.

MLK had no association with Palo Alto.

His personal life like that of Ghandi does not provide a model for our children follow.


Posted by Judy Bryant, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 31, 2007 at 9:48 pm

Where was the public debate on this matter?

How about doing something like insuring public safety? There seems to be a rapist or two on the loose. Gunn High School and Castilleja School come to mind.

I would suggest that the Palo Alto Council do some real work for a change.


Posted by CrocHunter, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 1, 2007 at 2:22 am

Re: Citizen's suggestion that we sell the naming rights to Lytton Plaza....where do you think the name Lytton came from?? Old timers will remember that it was from Lytton Savings & Loan...located directly across the street from the Plaza, on the corner of Emerson & University.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2007 at 3:54 am

Dr. King openly advocated the defeat of the U.S. Army, something an old soldier is unwilling to forget.


Posted by joan, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 1, 2007 at 7:47 am


We need deep and lasting changes in governance in Palo Alto.

council members need to be held accountable and fired fast of recalled and dismissed.

We have a brutal rapist in town and the council is wasting time and money on stupid meaningless PC nonsense like this MLK fiasco.

throw the bums out now!


Posted by Not so fast, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 1, 2007 at 9:01 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by All bow to Eichler, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2007 at 6:46 am

How about naming the plaza Eichler Plaza. since there are so many energy sucking Eichler homes in PA and people seem to worship the ground he walked on and think his home's are the greatest design in the world--what would be better?


Posted by Duke plaza, a resident of Stanford
on Nov 2, 2007 at 9:11 am



DUKE PLAZA in honor of the 3 Duke University students who were falsely

accused of rape and became victims of PC faculty and race mongering

DAs, politicians and the NYT.

MLK would certainly support naming it DUKE PLAZA


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 2, 2007 at 9:53 am

Even MLK would find this a ridiculous amount of $ for a plaque. This is sad local government.


Posted by Susan, a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2007 at 11:39 am

Is this a "done deal" ? Who voted for it? Can we stop it from happening? $10,000 is a lot of money and could be used for other projects.


Posted by Jefferson Starship, a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2007 at 5:22 pm

Come on, Name it Christopher "Moondog" Barnett Wing Plaza. He is a permenant fixture there & was born and raised in Palo Alto! Go for it! And his sister Grace Slick is a famous musician & attended Cstellija Girls School. Forget the Kings.


Posted by Isabelle, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2007 at 9:08 pm

I can't believe it! As a local artist I can make the plaque myself and am willing to do it for free!


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

How Bad Policy Happens
By Douglas Moran | 21 comments | 1,492 views

The life of Zarf
By Sally Torbey | 10 comments | 1,146 views

Freshman Blues Don't Mean Wrong College
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 2 comments | 1,002 views

Background and Ideas for the Comp Plan
By Steve Levy | 20 comments | 947 views

When Grandparents Visit
By Cheryl Bac | 4 comments | 855 views