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Mayor Woodfin, park officials tour Dr. King’s ‘war room’ at A.G. Gaston Motel

Jack Pyburn (left) talks with Mayor Randall Woodfin about plans for the A.G. Gaston Motel (Ariel Worthy/The Birmingham Times)
By Ariel Worthy
The Birmingham Times

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Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin on Wednesday met with Jack Pyburn of Lord, Aeck, Sargent Inc. Architects at the historic A.G. Gaston Motel to discuss ways to preserve the site.

The motel was one of the few places where blacks could meet during Civil Rights Movement and served as a center for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth and others to map out plans to end segregation in Birmingham.

The motel was part of the Civil Rights Monument established by proclamation in downtown Birmingham in January 2017 by former president Barack Obama.

“This is a moment for our city, for our country, not just our past,” Woodfin said. “This is one of the most important sites. It is a national and significant cornerstone of the success of the Civil Rights Movement.”

Pyburn and Woodfin said it would take two years to renovate the site. They did not announce a start date.

Woodfin was joined by Denise Gilmore, community development specialist with the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington DC and Reginald Tiller, acting superintendent for the Birmingham Monument, National Park Services.