This weekend, the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site will partially reopen the Martin Luther King, Jr. birth home for public tours and host a series of events for the national holiday.

The first floor of Dr. King’s birth home will open again for public tours beginning Saturday, Jan. 14, following the completion of repairs by the National Park Service to reinforce the floor structure and foundation. The second level will remain closed pending the outcome of a comprehensive structural assessment expected this spring.

“We are thrilled that the first floor of Dr. King’s historic birth home will be reopened in time for the King Holiday,” stated Judy Forte, superintendent, Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site. “We are also excited that a full condition assessment of the entire home is scheduled in the near future to ensure the preservation and protection of this national treasure for future generations.”

The National Park Service has also scheduled several events to mark Dr. King’s birthday and the 31st annual observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday. All events take place place within the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, located at 450 Auburn Avenue in Atlanta:

Saturday, Jan. 14
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Two hundred volunteers will participate in beautification and preservation projects at the National Historic Site as part of Volunteer Day, which kicks off at the National Park Service Visitor Center.

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Tours of the first floor of Dr. King’s birth home will be offered Saturday and Sunday on a first-come-first-served basis (limit of 15 people per tour). Tickets are available at the Visitor Center starting at 9 am.

Sunday, Jan, 15
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours of the first floor of Dr. King’s birth home will be offered Saturday and Sunday on a first-come-first-served basis (limit of 15 people per tour). Tickets are available at the Visitor Center starting at 9 am.

4 to 6:30 p.m. A tribute concert marking Dr. King’s 88th birthday will be held at The King Center’s Yolanda D. King Theatre for the Performing Arts in Freedom Hall and feature spoken word, dance, music and other artistic performances. The tribute concert is free and open to the public.

Monday, Jan. 16
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Special programs will be conducted park-wide throughout the day.

· The first floor of Dr. King’s birth home will be open for continuous walk-throughs from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm on the King Holiday. Tickets are not required for the walk-throughs. The regular guided tour schedule will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

· A “Children’s Corner” tent will be located on Auburn Avenue near the King birth home and will feature arts & crafts, a National Park Service photo booth and the park’s Junior Ranger Program.
· A historic MARTA bus will be on display for park visitors to step back in time to the mid-1950s — the era of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which was a pivotal moment in the Modern American Civil Rights Movement.
· Preservation exhibition stations will be displayed on the porches of some historic structures highlighting preservation and restoration efforts within the park.
· Historic Fire Station No.6, the Heritage Sanctuary of Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and the National Park Service’s Visitor Center will be open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

For more weekend events marking MLK Jr. Day, visit this link.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.