DC To Honor Crack Smoking Ex-Mayor With Statue and School

Josh Fatzick | Reporter

The District of Columbia marked the one year anniversary of former Mayor Marion Barry’s death with the announcement that it will build a statue of Barry outside City Hall.

A commission brought together by Mayor Muriel Bowser culled a list of 30 suggestions on how to commemorate Barry, a longtime D.C. politician who gained wide noteriety after he was caught smoking crack in a hotel room, down to just four.

Those ideas, according to Bowser, reflect the areas where Barry had the largest impact on the city — youth, education, community and government.

So to honor Barry, the city plans to erect a statue in front of City Hall, rename a road in his honor, rename Frank W. Ballou Senior High School in Ward 8 where Barry served as a councilmember, and name the new student center at the University of the District of Columbia after Barry.

Other ideas that did not make the cut included establishing a “Marion Barry Day” and creating a museum dedicated to Barry.

“Sometime after Martin had a dream and before President Obama gave us hope, Marion Barry provided opportunity,” Bowser said in a statement. “And with these recommendations we will take the first step to rename Good Hope Road after Marion connecting him with Martin in the heart of ward 8. I want to thank the Commission for engaging the public and for going through a thoughtful process.”

Earlier this year, Bowser renamed the city’s summer youth jobs program after Barry and raised the age limit for participation to 24 years-old.

Barry served four terms as the D.C. mayor and four terms on the D.C. Council. Along the way he did a six month stint in federal prison for crack cocaine possession.

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Tags : district of columbia marion barry muriel bowser
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