Filling in for Dallas’ relative sparseness of statuary, and adding some inspirational presence to a public space, a new bronze Rosa Parks resolutely perched on a bus seat has been unveiled in the new West End Dart Station.
The design has Parks sitting to the side, allowing space for another visitor to share the bench beside her, rendering symbolic significance.
The statue is actually the second casting of the original statue in Montgomery, Ala., in front of Troy University’s Rosa Parks Library and Museum, in the location where her history-changing action actually took place.
In 1955, Rosa Parks defied the Jim Crow laws by refusing to take a seat in the back of a bus, designated for people of color.
The statue is designed to “invoke a feeling of determination and a presence that has a solidity to it and a beauty that transcends time,” according to the artist, Erik Blome of San Francisco.
"It will add to DART patron comfort at a time of significant growth in ridership," said Rob Parks, DART project manager. "This plaza is the first of its kind in downtown Dallas. It serves as a signature project to prototype what can and will be done for downtown bus passengers."
Though the Rosa Parks Plaza was scheduled for completion in February of 2009, obstacles delayed it until July 13.
Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.