Here at the King Center, we value the health and safety of our visitors and staff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Freedom Hall and The King Center Bookstore will be closed to the public beginning, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. We will remain closed through the end of the month. Out of concern for our staff and their families, all King Center employees will work remotely until April 2.
All of our events through April 15th are postponed. For up-to-date information, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We will also post here as updates become available.
Admission and parking are FREE.
Most of the park is self-guided; therefore, no special arrangements are needed. However, you must register to tour the Birth Home of Dr. King (see reservation information below).
For questions or more information you may call 404-526-8900 or contact us.
Hours of Operation
Sunday-Saturday (Open 7 days a week)
9am – 5pm
Special Summer Hours (Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day)
9am – 6pm
The King Center is located at 449 Auburn Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA, just east of downtown Atlanta.
From Interstate 75/85 North or South take exit #248C Freedom Parkway. Southbound travelers must merge over 4 lanes, in order to make the turn onto Boulevard. At the traffic light, turn right onto Boulevard NE, and make another immediate right turn, at the next traffic light, onto John Wesley Dobbs Avenue. The visitor parking lot will be on the left. Bus parking is located on either side of John Wesley Dobbs Avenue.
From Interstate 20 East or West, exit at Interstate 75/85 North take exit #248C Freedom Parkway. At the traffic light, turn right onto Boulevard NE, and make another immediate right turn, at the next traffic light, onto John Wesley Dobbs Avenue. The visitor parking lot will be on the left. Bus parking is located on either side of John Wesley Dobbs Avenue.
Directions by Public Transportation (MARTA)
There are various bus routes that provide access to the park:
The Atlanta Streetcar provides a direct connection to park grounds for visitors.
If you’re using MARTA rail to get to the Downtown area; take the North line to the Peachtree Center station; exit there, then hop on the Atlanta Streetcar at the Peachtree Center stop, which is located on Peachtree Street near Ellis Street. Exit the Streetcar at the King Historic District stop, which is located just across the street from the National Historic Site.
Visit theAtlantaStreetcar.com to view the route map, and get information on fares and schedules.
Suggested Tour Route
After parking in the visitors’ lot on Johns Wesley Dobbs Avenue, begin your tour by following the Civil Rights Walk of Fame, past the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, and proceed to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site Visitor Center.
Upon exiting the Visitor Center, turn right to view the International World Peace Rose Garden. Travel to the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church (Heritage Sanctuary) at the corner of Auburn Ave. & Jackson Street.
Proceed east on Auburn to enter the King Center’s outdoor campus where you can view the crypt of Dr. and Mrs. King, Eternal Flame, Freedom Walkway and Reflecting Pool at will. Walk eastward along the pool to Freedom Hall, where you can learn more about Dr. King through our exhibits, as well as to reserve a ticket for his Birth Home.
While in Freedom Hall, visit the Bookstore & Resource Center where you can find a wealth of educational materials. Proceeds from your purchases support the mission of The King Center in educating the world about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy and methods of nonviolence.
Components of Our Grounds
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.
Location – 449 Auburn Avenue, NE.
Freedom Hall is the exhibition location on campus, as well as the primary location for special events and programs. It contains a Grand Foyer, large theater/conference auditorium, Bookstore & Resource Center and various works of art from across the globe. The Grand Foyer features art from Africa and Georgia, and the paneling lining the staircase is from the sapeli tree which grows in Nigeria. At present, Freedom Hall’s second floor is utilized as exhibit space honoring Dr. and Mrs. King, Mahatma Gandhi and Rosa Parks.
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.
Tours of Dr. King’s The Birth Home are conducted by the National Park Service on a first-come, first-served basis. Registrations are available at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site Visitor Center and must be made in person the day of the tour. No advance reservations can be made. There are only 15 persons permitted on a tour. Groups can reserve up to three spaces (45 persons) the day of their tour. Please Note: Tours fill up fast on weekends and holidays so plan accordingly.
The Birth Home tour schedule is below:
Sunday – Saturday (7 days a week)
The first Birth Home tour begins at 10:00am and the last tour is 5:00pm. The 30 minutes tour is conducted every hour.
Special Summer Hours (Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day)
The first Birth Home tour begins at 9:30am and the last tour is 5:30pm. The 30 minutes tour is conducted every half hour.
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 at http://www.nps.gov/malu/index.htm.