Three rectangular pillars now stand on the site, representing the three Interdenominational Theological Center students who attempted to desegregate the restaurant. It is part of the school’s EcoCommons, an 8-acre site with more than 600 new trees, 68 transplanted trees, tens of thousands of new perennials and shrubs and other plants.
After the federal Civil Rights Act passed in 1964, the three ITC students — George Willis Jr., Albert Dunn, and Woodrow T. Lewis — attempted to desegregate the Pickrick. Photos of Maddox chasing the Black students away with his gun made national headlines. The students hired Black attorney Constance Baker Motley, who successfully won a federal lawsuit arguing Maddox violated the new act. Rather than comply with the court order to desegregate, Maddox closed the restaurant. Maddox became governor in 1967 and held office for a four-year term. He died in 2003.