Hammondville Road Officially Renamed
Hammondville Road is now officially named Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
By Marie Puleo
For decades, the main thoroughfare in the city’s northwest district has had the dual name of Hammondville Road and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, but now it will officially be known solely as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, a change that was almost thirty years in the making.
At a rededication ceremony in March, Commissioner Beverly Perkins, who represents the northwest section of the city, explained that the movement to rename the street after civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. started in 1990, when she became president of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Committee.
Perkins recounted the opposition that she and the committee encountered in their effort to change the street’s name so it would no longer honor Hiram Hammon, a 19th century Palm Beach County farmer who pioneered one of the earliest farms just west of Pompano Beach, in an area now known as Margate. There are members of the northwest community who remember picking beans and other crops in the local fields for low wages.
The six-month struggle to rename the street, which included a “peace march” of hundreds of people to city hall, was covered by local and national news outlets. In 1991, the City Commission decided that the street would have a dual name.
“In my heart, I disagreed,” said Perkins, who, once she became a commissioner in 2016, made it one of her goals to remove Hammondville from the street name.
The current City Commission has initiated a project to have two bronze statues – one of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and one of former President Barack Obama (perhaps the two men shaking hands) – placed along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, in the vicinity of the E. Pat Larkins Center.