Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. mural on the 800 block of S. Salina St.in Syracuse, by illustrator London Ladd. Photo courtesy of photographer Mike Greenlar | Central Current

Photo by Michael Greenlar | Words by Yolanda Stewart

London Ladd, a Syracuse-based illustrator and artist, is the visionary behind the mural of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on South Salina Street. 

The local illustrator’s mission to beautify the streets of Syracuse with public art is helping residents take pride in their city and reframe how they see it.

The mural commemorates Dr. King’s 1961 visit to Syracuse University, of which Ladd includes King’s very own words.

Through his work of revitalizing public spaces with art, Ladd has created conversation starters.

The image of Dr. King, on the west wall of South Salina Street is accompanied by an adjacent mural of African American public figure, Frederick Douglas on the east wall.