South Station Road at the Millbrae BART Station will be renamed Harriet Tubman Way in honor of Black History Month.
The name change was announced Tuesday by Republic Urban Properties, the developer of Gateway at Millbrae Station, a transit-oriented development which includes office space, apartment units at market rate and affordable rates, a Marriott Residence Inn and retail and restaurant space. The development is expected to finish in 2022.
Republic collaborated with BART to bring about the street name change. Bevan Dufty, a member of BART’s Board of Directors, was instrumental in sponsoring the name change, according to the announcement.
In addition to the name change, Republic is working with the San Mateo NAACP to commission an outdoor art installation on site, which “will further commemorate Tubman’s history as an abolitionist,” according to the announcement.
Mays, a sculptor who works with heavy gauge metal wire from construction sites, was previously chosen to create an art installation in Atlanta for the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Artbound public art project.
“Harriet Tubman has been my heroine since I was 6 years old. What a dream to be able to honor her this way if given the chance,” Mays said in a statement.
Derricotte, whose primary medium is glass, said she is excited about bringing Tubman’s history to life. She said it is fitting that the sculptural tribute will be located at the intersection of BART and Caltrain, given Tubman’s work with the Underground Railroad.
Redwood City Councilmember Michael Smith, who will be part of the art memorial project steering committee, said that choosing to honor Tubman’s legacy is an important step forward for the city of Millbrae and for the region.
“To fully recognize the community’s diverse residents who’ve had legacies associated with exclusion and racism is an important step forward in healing the wounds of those wronged by history,” Smith said in a statement. “We’re stepping into a new, more equitable point in time for our community and our Nation as well.”
The final art memorial will be revealed in mid-2022.