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Atlanta’s historic home tours: Martin Luther King Jr. home

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There are free, half-hour National Park Service-run tours of the Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home on Auburn Avenue every day. Nearby, the National Historic Site and King Center round out the tour experience. AJC file photo

Yesterday’s historic home tour took us to Bulloch Hall in Roswell. Today, we’re continuing our list of holiday stops with the Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home. You can see more photos of the home in this photo gallery from a tour led by King’s sister, Christine King Farris.

Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home

History: The Auburn Avenue birth home of  Martin Luther King Jr. reveals how he grew from a bright young boy into a civil rights leader. It’s the jewel of a neighborhood that also features more National Park Service-owned historic buildings, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and the King Center.

Highlights:

  • Every guide has a different way of telling stories and a different connection to the house. The Rev. G.H. Williams was among the pastors who worked with King. He delivers the tour in the booming voice of a sermon and explains that, “You’re not just seeing history, you’re walking with it.”
  • The tour shows not just the birth house, but the birth room and the birth bed. King only lived in the house on Auburn Avenue till he was 12, but the games and books remind visitors that the great leader began life as a typical child in a typical neighborhood, where he used the library and ate dinner and supper every day with his family members.

Tour: Half-hour tours are led by rangers from the Martin Luther King National Historic Site. They’re free, but require tickets, which are available daily at the King Center on first-come, first-served basis. Tours fill up quickly, and you must be punctual. Once your timed group is inside the home, your guide will lock the door.

Holiday offerings: There are no tours on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, but there is a new exhibit at the Historic Site, just in time for the holidays: “Bobby, Martin and John: Once Upon an American Dream,” shows photographs from the archive of Look photographer Stanley Tretick through Feb. 28.

Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home, 450 Auburn Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-331-5190, www.nps.gov/malu.

2 comments Add your comment

Murray Silver

November 21st, 2009
10:17 pm

The intimate family history concerning the birth home is beautifully written in the non-fiction “Daddy King and Me.” Available now at The King Center.

[...] historical homes has so far taken AJCer Howard Pousner and me to Bulloch Hall in Roswell and the Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home on Auburn Avenue in [...]