Southern Poverty Law Center


The Southern Poverty Law Center and its Civil Rights Memorial, located on the corner of Washington and Hull. Morris founded it in 1971, using his share of the Fuller & Dees cookbook killing, and it soon stirred up a wrath. Morris Dees and his Center was bombed along about 1982, and this building was his answer. Morris bought the entire block, put up floodlights so you could not approach furtively from front or rear . Then he sold three-fourths of the block to RSA so it could build the massive ACC Building which looms behind in this picture. He used the profits on sale of the land to fund the monument. The entrance steps were torn away in 1988 and replaced with this creation of architect Maya Lin of Boston, who had recently completed the Viet Nam memorial on the Washington Mall. This site now attracts more visitors than any other place in the city.


The organization quickly outgrew the above, and then ca 2000 built this Fortress at left. It is intimidating (from both near and afar), difficult to approach. Its base is reminiscent of the French Maginot Line of WW II. Armed guards constantly patrol the above-street walkway, and another keeps vigil from across the street. Drive around it to see which side you like best –they’re all different.

-Charles Humphries

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