Martin Luther King, Jr. Globe Restored to Former Glory
Any Lake Worth resident, who has been to the Cultural Plaza for Evening on the Avenue, Screen on the Green, or just for a casual stroll through downtown, is probably familiar with the large, and until recently, inoperable, water globe feature located on the plaza.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Globe is part of a large scale community project which was designed in 2003 and completed in 2005. The design of the Cultural Plaza added a stage, pave stones, sidewalks, and pergola, as well as, the site work and necessary infrastructure to accommodate electric hook-ups and water. Since its completion, the Cultural Plaza has hosted many of Lake Worth’s most important events.
The original project was organized by the Lake Worth Kiwanis Club, and donations came from a variety of sources including the City of Lake Worth, the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency, the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, and Palm Beach County Commissioner's discretionary funds. More than $185,000 were raised for creation of the Cultural Plaza, which has become a gathering place for Lake Worth residents and visitors, alike.
While the original project was, as a whole, very successful, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Globe never worked as intended. Residents could manually spin the Globe, but it did not spin on its own, as originally designed. The instillation lacked a filter cartridge, causing the water to become dirty over time. Undersized plumbing and faulty pipes, among other flaws, contributed to the problem. All of these problems were addressed in the recent repairs, including new plumbing, a cartridge for the filter, larger water pipes, an auto fill unit, which will maintain the water level, and a chlorinator to keep the water clean.
As part of the repairs, the quotes on each side of the Globe’s pedestal, by Martin Luther King Jr., have been re-etched for increased clarity. One side reads, “We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. Sooner or later all people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace.” Additionally, the entire Globe has been re-etched adding definition to all of the seven Continents.
Jamie Brown, Public Services Director, said that the City has desired to repair the MLK Globe for years, but until now, funding had not been allocated in the budget. “It’s the center of our downtown and it’s disrespectful not to have it working,” said Brown. “To not have it working for so long was not the proper thing to do.” This year, funds were available and the work has been completed. The total cost for the repairs was $13,700, which included all of the materials and labor and a ten year warranty, guaranteeing that the Globe will continue to spin on its own.
Not only does the Martin Luther King, Jr. Globe serve as a memorable downtown monument, it also carries an important message to Lake Worth Residents: unity. Its central location serves as a constant reminder that the Lake Worth community is united. On any given weekend, residents flock to downtown for the unique events that make Lake Worth special. While they gather, they will now be able to enjoy the Globe in all of its intended glory.
“The Globe carries the message of the Martin Luther King, Jr,” said Brown. “No matter your race, gender, age, or background, it’s a timeless message of unity. It brings people together.”