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MLK Historical Area

Updated: Jan 7, 2023

Atlanta is full of rich history and I wanted my son to see some of it first hand so we went to downtown to MLK Center, MLK house, and Ebeneezer Baptist Church. This last trip was pre-covid, so things may be a little different. I like how this is all in one area and you can walk to it all and only park the car once.

I used this address and you can pull in to park between the King Center and Ebenezer Baptist Church. King Center 449 Auburn Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA There are a few handicap spots and a few regular parking spots here. We went when they first opened and got a spot here. There is more parking behind the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park building.

I talked to my son that there may be homeless people around this area. He is always curious and asking questions in front of them, so wanted address before we went and answer any questions he may have ahead of time about it. There were homeless people sitting along the church/parking lot, and all kept to themselves when we were there.

Freedom Hall at the King Center

(449 Auburn Avenue, NE.) Admission and parking is FREE. This is where we parked. They are open normally open Sunday-Saturday (Open 7 days a week) 9am – 5pm. We tried going during covid times and a Govt shut down and this affected times and protocols then so always check before you go they are open.

Special Summer Hours (Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day) 9am – 6pm

They are closed on: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

It is run by the King family and this is a self-guided place. It has a gift shop, restrooms, and three rooms upstairs (there is an elevator.) There is a Ghandi room, a Rosa Parks Room and a MLK/Coretta Room. They each had items about these 3 peoples. There is even the key to the room from the hotel that he was staying at when he was killed. My son loved seeing his shoes and noting how big they were.

Outside is the Eternal Flame, the Crypts for Dr. and Mrs. King

From their website:

Dr. & Mrs. King’s Crypt

In 1968, after he was assassinated, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was carried upon a farm wagon drawn by mules to Southview Cemetery. In 1970, Dr. King’s remains were removed from Southview Cemetery to now what is the current King Center campus, and in 2006 his crypt was rebuilt to also include the remains of Mrs. Coretta Scott King. Dr. & Mrs. King’s crypt is constructed of Georgia marble, a timeless acknowledgement of his southern roots.

The Eternal Flame

The Eternal Flame symbolizes the continuing effort to realize Dr. King’s dream of the “Beloved Community,” which was his vision for a world of justice, peace and equality for all mankind.

MLK Birth Home

From their website: Dr. King’s Birth Home

Location – 501 Auburn Avenue, NE.

Contact: National Park Service at 404-331-6922.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January 15, 1929 at 501 Auburn Avenue, the home of his maternal grandparents. For the next twelve years he lived here with his grandparents, parents, siblings, other family members and boarders. The home is located in the residential section of “Sweet Auburn”, the center of black Atlanta. The Birth Home of Dr. King may be visited only with a park ranger led tour, which is filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Register for the tour at the Information Desk, located in Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site Visitor Center , in person upon arrival to the park. The tour is strictly limited to 15 people per tour. Tours fill up fast on weekends and holidays so plan accordingly.

From there we went back to the King Center Freedom Hall but were on the opposite side by the National Park Museum Visitor Center. There is parking her and they have a playground in the back.

We then crossed the street to go to the gift shop of the Historic Church since we could not go in.

Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church (Heritage Sanctuary)

Location – 407 Auburn Avenue, NE

In this sacred place were sown the seeds of greatness from which Martin Luther King, Jr. blossomed. In 1893, Dr. King’s maternal grandfather, Rev. A.D. Williams, became Ebenezer’s second pastor, eventually succeeded by Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., who served as Ebenezer’s 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 are managed and operated by the U.S. National Park Service. Please visit their website for more information about planning your visit, such as maps, directions, and operating hours.

We then went to Krog Street Market after to eat.

It is about a 5 min drive. The belt line is also located there.

This is a great shirt for MLK Day!

As a teacher and mom these are some of my favorite books about MLK.

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