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What’s in store for the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site?

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U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, left, bumped fists outside a house just down the street from the Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home. Federal stimulus money will go toward stabilizing the house. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

AJCer Rosalind Bentley talked with Judy Forte, superintendent of Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, for a Q&A that ran Sunday.

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Judy Forte

Every time I’m there, it’s packed with field trip students, out-of-town visitors and adult locals inevitably returning after years without seeing the exhibits, rose garden or birth home tour.

In this interview, they talked about the park service gradually taking over more property around the King birth home, and stimulus money that will go toward stabilizing the home pictured above — all of which could improve the visitor experience.

There’s also some talk about how the historic site, King Center and the new Center for Civil and Human Rights might fit together.

Q: Under your administration, have you explored the possibility with the King family of purchasing the center?

A: No. But the heart of the historic site, as much as people would like to think is the King Center, it’s really the birth home. But the King Center is definitely important because that’s where Dr. King and Mrs. King are now resting.

Q: Do you worry that when the new civil and human rights museum is built downtown, that it will hurt this site?

A: I really don’t. From what I hear they are planning to do, it will only enhance each other’s message.

Want to go? Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site winter hours last through mid-June. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. every day. Free. 450 Auburn Ave., Atlanta. 404-331-5190, www.nps.gov/malu.

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2 comments Add your comment

john

December 3rd, 2009
9:19 am

I glad this is getting done. It been a long time coming.

rachael

October 27th, 2009
6:37 pm

Fist bump. I love it.