GARY — The Board of Zoning Appeals in the city of Gary has approved a variance to allow former mayor Richard Hatcher to use a school purchased by his not-for-profit group in December as a Civil Rights Hall of Fame he has dreamed of for decades.
The Post-Tribune of Merrillville reports the variance request now goes before the City Council for final action.
Hatcher became one of the first black mayors of a large U.S. city in 1968 and served for 20 years. He told the Board of Zoning Appeals members on Tuesday that he first envisioned the idea of a Hall of Fame following the 1968 funeral of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
He says the building will include exhibitions and a gallery to educate visitors.