A section of Findlay Street in Portsmuth will now be know as Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Portsmouth City Council, in a brief discussion passed a resolution Monday evening naming Findlay Street from 12th Street to 16th Street Martin Luther King Jr. Way to help the city’s effort to get the McKinley Pool on the National Register of Historic Places.
In the discussion it was noted that renaming Findlay Street would help the efforts.
Local citizen Thomas Bailey asked council to name the street Eugene Collins Jr., Way in recognition of Portsmouth’s own well known citizen. Council decided since Martin Luther King Jr. was known for his civil rights movement nationwide, it would help their cause better by putting his name on the street. But in negotiations, council also put in their future agenda to rename a portion of 15th Street to Eugene Collin Jr. Way next to McKinley Pool.
Councilman Thomas Lowe asked Bailey if he could obtain signatures from area residents in support of Collins. Bailey said he would certainly do that. “We want to see what the people have to say,” Lowe said. “Petitions shows the people want it.”
Portsmouth Mayor Kevin Johnson said naming 15th Street in honor of Collins and Findlay in honor of King is the best solution. “I like that tie in.”
Councilman Sean Dunne said the next meeting with the state on getting the public pool on the National Register is next month. He said Monday evening was the first time he had heard mention of renaming the street to Eugene Collins Jr. Way. “I think there is support for MLK,” Dunne said. Dunne said when people think about civil rights they think of King. “That’s not to take away anything from Mr. Collins.”
“I am totally in support,” Bailey said of council recognizing both King and Collins with the renaming of the two streets. “