King’s Sweet Auburn- Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

Located in Atlanta’s Historic Sweet Auburn District, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site preserves many buildings important in the life of Dr. King, but also in the neighborhood itself. The visitor center, located at 450 Auburn Avenue, chronicales the King’s life and also the American Civil Rights Movement. 
 Outside the visitor’s center is the Gandhi Promenade. At the base of Gandhi’s Statue are plaques with both Gandhi’s famous case for the non-violent protest, and Dr. King’s recognition of Gandhi’s influence in his own teachings.
Along the Gandhi Promenade is The International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. The walk contains the ‘footprints’ of honorees, people who are memorialized for their struggles for and contributions to the American Civil Rights movement. 
Among the buildings preserved in the disitrict, The King Birth Home, located at 501 Auburn, is a highlight. It was here in this middle class two-story home, that Dr. King spent the first 12 years of his life.
Also preserved within the boundaries of the historic preservation district are shotgun row houses (pictured above) typical to the time in which King called Sweet Auburn home, and Fire Station No.6.
Another highlight of the Historic Site is the Ebenezer Baptist Church, dating to 1886, and the church that Dr. King’s and his father were pastors at. Martin Luther King Sr. was a pastor at this historic house of worship for more than four decades, while also being an important crusader in the Civil Rights Movement.
Although not part of the National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service, The King Center for Non-violent Social Change is located across the street from the visitor’s center. The center, currently run by King’s son, focus on the history of non-violent social movements, and contains the tomb of Dr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, who established the center in 1968. 

The sight, a tribute not only to the man, but to the movement to which he dedicated his life, is a excellent addition to any Atlanta intinerary. The NPS’s web page for the sight is located here.

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