Where Is The Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park Located
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park is located at:
450 Auburn Ave. NEAtlanta, Ga. 30312
The entrance to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park parking lot is located on John Wesley Dobbs Avenue. Start your visit at the National Park Service Visitor Center, which is a short walk across Irwin Street and down the Promenade. Here you can pick up maps and get the latest information on the park.
Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church
Location 407 Auburn Avenue, NE., Atlanta, GA 30312
In this sacred place were sown the seeds of greatness from which Martin Luther King, Jr. blossomed. In 1893, Dr. Kings maternal grandfather, Rev. A.D. Williams, became Ebenezers second pastor, eventually succeeded by Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., who served as Ebenezers third pastor from 1933 until his retirement in 1975. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. served as co-pastor in 1947 until he left to attend Crozer Theological Seminary in September 1948. From 1960 until his assassination in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. again co-pastored Ebenezer Baptist Church. In 2011, the church was restored to the 1960 1968 period.
Portions of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site is managed and operated by the U.S. National Park Service. Please visit their website for more information about planning your visits, such as maps, directions, and operating hours at .
Expanding Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park
Birth Home at Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
This two-story Queen Anne style house, with its distinctive architectural features, including a porch, overhanging eaves, woodwork trim, and porthole windows is located in the residential section of Atlantas Auburn Avenue Historic District, also known as Sweet Auburn. The district has a rich history of African American achievement and was where many African Americans established businesses and built community in the early 20th century. Thanks to the National Park Foundation and our partners, this neighborhood has been further imbued with historical significance, as the location of a memorial and museum commemorating the early years and family life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 2018, NPF facilitated the purchase Dr. Kings birth home from the King Center. Upon its purchase, the home was immediately transferred to the National Park Service, to be protected in perpetuity as part of the National Park System. Thanks to this transfer, Dr. Kings birthplace will eventually be open to the public to welcome visitors for ranger-led interpretive tours, free of cost.
And in 2019, NPF helped to transfer the King family home, where Dr. King and Coretta Scott King raised their four children, to the national park service. The transfer of the house, located in Atlantas historic Vine City neighborhood, will help visitors appreciate a more complete history of the King family and their contributions to our country.
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Other Places Of Interest
Apex MuseumEvery month is Black History Month at this Auburn Avenue museum where youll get a thorough look at the black experience in the U.S.particularly Atlanta. Among the exhibits is a replica of the Yates & Milton Drug Store, one of Atlantas first black-owned businesses. 135 Auburn Ave. NE, 404.523.2739
Auburn Avenue Research LibraryPart of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, this is the first public library in the Southeast to offer specialized reference and archival collections dedicated to the study and research of African-American culture and history. 101 Auburn Ave. NE, 404.613.4001
Big Bethel AME Founded in 1847, this is the oldest predominantly African-American church in Atlanta. In 1879, the Gate City Colored School, the first public school for African-Americans, was founded in its basement. 220 Auburn Ave. NE, 404.827.9707
Herndon Home MuseumGet inspired by the hard work of the prominent Herndon family at this dedication to Alonzo Herndon, founder of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company. Born into slavery, he died Atlantas wealthiest black citizen. The insurance building still stands on Auburn Avenue. 587 University Place NW, 404.581.9813
Crown Jewel Of Atls Cultural Heritage
While hundreds of landmarks around the world are named in honor of Dr. King, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park is unique in that it preserves the actual places where Dr. King was born, lived, worked, and is buried. More than 700,000 local, national, and international visitors come to the park each year captivated by the man, his ideals and his courage.
The park consists of dozens of historic buildings most of them built between 1890 and 1920 spread over 38 acres. Many of these were part of Dr. Kings early and adult years. Source: NPS
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The Eternal Flame & Reflecting Pool
The Eternal Flame is located in front of the King Memorial Tomb. The inscription reads: “The Eternal Flame symbolizes the continuing effort to realize Dr. Kings ideals for the Beloved Community which requires lasting personal commitment that cannot weaken when faced with obstacles.” The video below provides some nice views of the eternal flame and reflecting pool area
FRIENDLY SUGGESTION: Have a seat on one of the benches that flank the eternal flame. This is a great place to reflect and listen to the words of Dr. King, which are piped through outdoor speakers that surround this area.
What To See At The Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site
The historic site commemorates the life, work and legacy of the Civil Rights leader, taking up several blocks. Stop by the excellent visitor center to get oriented with a map and brochure of area sites. Here you’ll find a video theater showing short films, and the D.R.E.A.M Gallery, which hosts changing exhibits that elucidate the context the segregation, systemic oppression and racial violence that inspired and fueled King’s work.
The majority of the site is self-guided, with ranger-led tours for Dr King’s Birth Home only . The new Ebenezer Baptist Church is the home of the congregation once led by Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Stop by the World Peace Rose Garden, which borders the Peace Plaza. The King Center is Dr King’s final resting place. A 1.5-mile landscaped trail leads from the site to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum.
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Visiting Ebenezer Baptist Church
The heart of the site, to me, is Ebenezer Baptist Church. Its one thing to see a short clip of a Martin Luther King speech on tv or YouTube. Its another to sit in the pews and listen to an actual sermon delivered by the reverend in that same building. The church is open and its free to wander through.
MLK Jr. joined his father as a pastor at the church in 1960. His message was inspiring, and his oratory skills were just as impressive. I sat for a good 20 minutes listening to his words and feeling great emotion at being in this historic location.
Kings funeral was held in Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1968. It is truly a historic location and a must-visit attraction.
Reasons To Visit The King Center
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Gandhi Statue + International Civil Rights Walk Of Fame
As you exit the Visitors Center, turn left and walk about 100 yards. Here you will find a life-size statue of Mahatma Gandhi and the starting point of the International Civil Right Walk of Fame.
Though the two men never got a chance to meet , King learned about Gandhi through his writing and a trip to India in 1959. King drew heavily on the Gandhian principle of nonviolence in his own civil rights activism, writing that while the Montgomery boycott was going on, Indias Gandhi was the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.
FRIENDLY SUGGESTION: Give yourself at least 30 minutes to explore this area. Instead of just walking around, you can turn this into a meaningful educational experience by stopping at each leaders square and reading about his/her life and contribution. A link to a collection of biographies appears at the bottom of this article.
Things To Know When Planning A Visit To Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park
Park Address: 450 Auburn Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
There is a large parking lot across the street from the visitor center. We ended up driving around the block a few times to find the entrance to the parking lot.
You will want to enter these GPS coordinates into your GPS to locate the entrance – GPS 33°45’32.43″N, 84°22’24.00″W
If you do not have a GPS with you drive around the block until you see the entrance to the parking lot at the farthest side from the visitor center. The park’s parking lot is located on John Wesley Dobbs Avenue.
Getting to the park via MARTA
MARTA you can take bus Route 3 or Route 99 . Find information and schedules here.
Getting to the park via The Atlanta Streetcar
The Streetcars current route connects the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site to the east and the Centennial Olympic Park area to the west, with 10 other stops in between.
Plan your trip or call 404-848-5000 for help and the latest schedule updates.
Park Entrance Fee: $0.00 there is no charge to visit Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta.
The Visitor Center, Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, and Freedom Hall are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
The Birth Home is open for ranger-led tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Fire Station No. 6 is staffed by park volunteers and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. when volunteers are available.
All facilities are closed on January 1st., Thanksgiving Day, and December 25th.
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Views Of King’s Family And Associates
The King family has long been outspoken about their belief in a conspiracy and Ray’s innocence. King’s youngest son, Dexter, met with Ray in prison in 1997 where he said to Ray, “Well, as awkward as this may seem, I want you to know that I believe you and my family believes you, and we are going to do everything in our power to try and make sure that justice will prevail. And while it’s at the 11th hour, I’ve always been a spiritual person and I believe in Providence.” King’s daughter Bernice King has said, “It pains my heart that James Earl Ray had to spend his life in prison paying for things he didn’t do.” She has also said, “I’m certainly clear that there has been a conspiracy, from the government down to the mafia.” King’s wife, Coretta Scott King told a press conference in 1999: “There is abundant evidence of a major high-level conspiracy … The Mafia, local, state and federal government agencies, were deeply involved in the assassination of my husband … Mr Ray was set up to take the blame.”
Who Was Martin Luther King Jr
Martin Luther King Jr, the quintessential figure of the Civil Rights movement and arguably America’s greatest leader, was born and raised in Atlanta, the son of a preacher and choir leader. His lineage was significant not only because he followed his father to the pulpit of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, but also because his political speeches rang out with a preacher’s inflections. King remains one of the most respected figures of the 20th century and is Atlanta’s quintessential African American hero, his legacy emblazoned across the city’s historic Sweet Auburn district, home to the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site.
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The Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park
The was established in Oct. 1980. Operated by the National Parks Service, the free experience is the centerpiece of Auburn Avenue, which ties together Kings home and work lives.
Visitors Center A true wealth of information, exhibits focus around specific areas of Kings work in the civil rights arena. Explore Kings teachings and approach through panels, newspaper accounts, audio-visual testimonies and larger-than-life displays. Of particular note is the funeral procession display. 450 Auburn Ave. NE, 404.331.5190
Dr. King’s BirthplaceA two-story, Queen Anne-style home, painted in yellow with brown trim, the Martin Luther King, Jr. birth home still sits proudly in Atlantas Sweet Auburn neighborhood. It stands as a beacon for love, peace and the accomplishments of its most famous resident. King was born in the upstairs middle room on January 15, 1929, and lived there until 1941. After Kings assassination in 1968, it was restored as a historic museum. It is part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, and is a short walking distance to Ebenezer Baptist Church and The King Center. The birth home is open for free, ranger-led tours from 10 am-4 pm daily, but they fill up quickly, so sign up first thing when you venture inside the National Historical Park building.
Prior Harassment From The Fbi
King had long found enemies among the nation’s top body of law enforcement, the FBI. J. Edgar Hoover, the Director of the FBI, pronounced him, “the most notorious liar in the country”. King had been under FBI surveillance since the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956. They began wiretapping his phones in 1963. King expressed his anger towards the FBI in 1964, declaring that it was “completely ineffectual in resolving the continued mayhem and brutality inflicted upon the Negro in the deep South”. After King’s death, the FBI led the investigation into the assassination. On November 1, 1971, former head of FBI Intelligence Operations William C. Sullivan testified before the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. He stated that in the “war” against King “no holds were barred”. An internal FBI document expressed concern that this might raise the suspicion of FBI involvement in the assassination.
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Visiting Mlks Childhood Home
If you visit the Historic Site, youll also want to take the free tour of Kings childhood home at 501 Auburn Avenue. Tickets are free but reservations are required. You can make an appointment when you arrive to the site. The earliest time slot I was able to get was three hours later, so I walked to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and came back for the MLK Tour.
The National Park Service recommends booking your tour early in the week, or on Sunday morning, as these are the least-crowded times for MLK house tours. Going very early in the day is also suggested to beat the mid-day rush.
The house is locked, so the ranger has to bring over his keys and unlock the place to allow the small tour groups inside.
Seeing the exact place where Martin Luther King, Jr. was raised, where he preached, where he was inspired to make history, was one of the most fulfilling historical travel experiences Ive ever had. I highly recommend a visit if you find yourself in Atlanta.
Another great Martin Luther King museum, the National Museum of Civil Rights, can be found in Memphis at the Lorraine Hotel, the very spot where MLK was tragically assassinated in 1968. Its another incredibly powerful place.
NOTE: If you plan to visit the Martin Luther King National Historic Site / Museum, give yourself plenty of time to get there. Traffic in Atlanta is known for being out of control.
Inside The Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site Museum
The Main Hall is the area that would be considered the Martin Luther King Museum. Exhibits on display include numerous videos and audio clips from speeches King gave throughout his life.
Newspaper clippings and other written and photographic exhibits remind visitors of just how awful the blatant discrimination was.
Also on display is the wooden wagon that carried Kings casket through the streets after his funeral.
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Visiting The Martin Luther King National Historic Site In Atlanta
History is always best when you can experience it yourself. When you can sit in the pews at Ebenezer Baptist Church and hear recordings of the sermons that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered in that very room.
The Martin Luther King National Historic Site, sometimes informally referred to as the Martin Luther King Museum in Atlanta, offers that opportunity. You can walk through Kings birth home and see the rooms where he had dinner with his parents , where he played with his siblings , and where he grew into a young man who would later change the country and the world.
The Martin Luther King National Historic Site in Atlanta is incredibly inspiring. Besides Kings birth home and former church, youll find a bunch of exhibits on the civil rights battles of the 50s and 60s, a civil rights walk of fame, a colorful mural and a statue of Gandhi. Any visitor to Atlanta should really stop by to understand an important part of our history.
Theres so much to see at the museum site, which is easily accessibly by public transportation. The first thing youll notice after the welcome signs is a giant mural featuring MLK and many other faces from the civil rights era.
Just behind the main building is a statue of one of Kings idols. Gandhi was a huge influence on the young MLK, who traveled to India and met surviving relatives of Gandhis family. King admired and was inspired by the leaders insistence on nonviolent resistance.