Atlanta Historic Sites
Atlanta has a plethora of black historic sites, including some that pre-date the rise and influence Martin Luther King Jr. They are a significant reason many African-Americans consider this city in the Deep South to be the Black Mecca.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change
DESCRIPTION: This National Historic Landmark is the most photographed site in Atlanta. When observing the dual tomb set amidst a reflecting pool, you reflect upon the historic and inspirational lives of Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King. Dr. King, who died in 1968, was buried in a typical cemetery until his body was re-interred here under a single tomb in 1977. In 2006, Coretta was interred beside her husband, making a dual-tomb necessary. An exposed hall surrounding the pool depicts interesting aspects of the lives of Martin and Coretta. The Center for Non-Violent Social Change complex includes Freedom Hall, which contains over 2 million documents and personal artifacts of the King Family. The center has an ongoing mission to manage non-violence programs for kindergarten through graduate school and seminars to lead youths away from gangs.
ADDRESS: 449 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA MAP
Martin Luther King, Jr. Birth Home
DESCRIPTION: A National Historic Landmark; born here on 15 January 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. spent the first 12 years of his life in this house; sign-up for a guided tour at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Visitor Center down the street
DAYS & HOURS: daily 10a-5p
ADDRESS: 501 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA MAP
Atlanta Life Insurance
DESCRIPTION: Founded 1905 by Alonzo F. Herndon in the glory years of the sweet Auburn district; ranked by Black Enterprise as the 2nd largest African American insurance company. Atlanta Life Insurance Art Gallery features over 300 original works of art by African American artists and the company is also known for hosting a national African American art competition.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 9a-5p
ADDRESS: 100 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA MAP
100 Black Men of America
DESCRIPTION: National headquarters for this honorable organization of positive deeds to uplift Black America.
ADDRESS: 141 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA MAP
Citizens Trust Bank
DESCRIPTION: Founded 1921; this bank is the nation’s 4th largest bank on the 2001 Black Enterprise listing; it should be acknowledged for its foresight acquiring other banks to spur faster growth and broaden customer services.
ADDRESS: 75 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta, GA MAP
Atlanta Daily World
DESCRIPTION: Founded 1928 by W.A. Scott is Atlanta’s oldest African American newspaper; it represents conservative views in the community and is published twice weekly.
ADDRESS: 145 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA MAP
DESCRIPTION: Atlanta’s first African American office building in 1904, constructed by businessman and politician Henry A Rucker; artists have moved into the facility
ADDRESS: 158-160 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA MAP
Odd Fellows Building
DESCRIPTION: This historic building was home to many Black businesses in the early days of Sweet Auburn; today there are a number of small businesses returning.
ADDRESS: 228-250 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA MAP
DESCRIPTION: Built in 1931 by Alonzo F. Herndon, it was home to as 121 African American businesses and 39 professionals during the Depression era and extending in the 1950s.
ADDRESS: 231-245 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA MAP
Butler Street YMCA
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1894 in the basement of Wheat Street Baptist Church; a local activist group met at this location prior to 1920 when the original YMCA building was erected for and by African Americans. The new YMCA is across the street.
ADDRESS: 20-24 Butler Street, Atlanta, GA MAP
PHONE: YMCA 404-659-8085
Prince Hall Masons Grand Lodge
DESCRIPTION: Built 1941 by Atlanta’s Black Masonic lodge, which was headed by John Wesley Dobbs at the time; it was also the former home of WERD – nation’s first African American radio station, founded in the 1920s; most recently it serves as the national headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference founded by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Women’s SCLC is next door.
ADDRESS: 334 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA MAP
Old Ebenezer Baptist Church
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1886; Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr was co-pastor from 1960-1968; Dr King co-pastor this church with his dad, Rev. Martin King, Sr, who was sole pastor until 1975. It is now a National Historic Landmark managed by the National Park Service.
ADDRESS: 407 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA MAP
Fire Station #6 Museum
DESCRIPTION: Built in 1894, this fire station served the first in Sweet Auburn until 1991. Learn about the desegregation of the Atlanta Fire Department and view a 1927 American LaFrance fire engine at the museum. Although it closed in 1991, it reopened in 1996 as a museum managed by the National Park Service.
DAYS & HOURS: daily 10a-5p
ADDRESS: Boulevard at Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA MAP
DESCRIPTION: This magnificent home was designed by Alonzo F Herndon (1858-1927), an Black craftsman built this mansion 1910. He went from slave to Georgia’s leading barber to founder of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company.
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sat 10-4p
ADDRESS: 587 University Place, Atlanta, GA MAP
Paschal’s Hotel Site
DESCRIPTION: A historically Black hotel, that served Civil Rights leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and several US Presidents for over 50 years; has been a a famous restaurant as well; adapted for re-use as a dormitory by Clark-Atlanta University.
ADDRESS: 830 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SW, Atlanta, GA MAP
H.J. Russel Company
DESCRIPTION: Founded 1952 by Herman J. Russell. It is the nation’s largest African-American construction firm per Black Enterprise magazine. Major projects built include Peachtree Center, City Hall expansion, Olympic/Braves Stadium and airport expansion.
ADDRESS: 504 Fair Street, Atlanta, GA MAP
Booker T. Washington High School
DESCRIPTION: Opened in 1924 and named for the great Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), it was the first Black public high school built in Atlanta; has produced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Romae T. Powell, judge; Dr. Asa Yancy, surgeon and many other outstanding graduates; remained the only Black high school in the city until 1947; a Booker T. Washington Monument was added to the front in 1927; listed on the National Register of Historic Places; since the school is in use, its not open for tours.
ADDRESS: 45 Whitehouse Drive, Atlanta, GA MAP
DESCRIPTION: The cemetery debuted “African American Voices” — the first cell phone tour for the cemetery, featuring 12 narrative presentations of families interred in the cemetery’s historic “Colored” section. Along with the cell phone tour, there are 3 story panels in the African American section and the original “Slave Square” that tell the story of African Americans and race relations in Atlanta.
DAYS & HOURS: 25-minute tour Mon-Fri 9a-4p, Sat-Sun 9a-Dusk
ADDRESS: 248 Oakland Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA MAP
DESCRIPTION: An antebellum home built in 1845 by enslaved people; restored buildings include a cook house, carriage house, springhouse, barn and slave cabin; home to 3 generations of the Smith family; Group tours available.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri tours at 11a & 2p, Sat tours at 11a, 12a & 1p
ADDRESS: 935 Alpharetta Street, Roswell, GA MAP
DESCRIPTION: Celebrates the best life has to offer African Americans each month; founder Bernard Bronner.
ADDRESS: 2141 Powers Ferry Road, Marietta, GA MAP