House Crazy Sarah has been extremely moved by all of the recent protests around the United States and across the world. She stands in solidarity with those who protest social injustice and racism.
One of her personal heroes is the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Several years ago, House Crazy Sarah visited the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery, Alabama and was deeply affected by the powerful tribute to all who were killed during the Civil Rights movement.
House Crazy Sarah would like to pay her own special tribute to MLK in this time of renewed awareness over civil rights by featuring three of his humble homes.
1. MLK’s Birthplace & Childhood Home
The house where Martin Luther King Jr. was born is located at 501 Auburn Avenue in the Sweet Auburn historic district of Atlanta, GA.
It is a true Victorian built in 1895 and it sits about a block east of Ebenezer Baptist Church. King’s maternal grandfather Reverend Adam Daniel Williams, who was pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, bought the house in 1909 for $3,500.
King’s newly married mother and father moved into the home in 1926 and King Jr. was born in 1929.
The King family lived in the house until 1941. It was then converted into a two-family dwelling and King Jr’s uncle lived on the second floor in the 1950’s and early 1960’s.
The house is now a visitor center and old house museum which offers free tours led by National Park Service rangers.
Interesting factoid: Martin Luther King Jr’s birth name was actually Michael King Jr. His father was Michael King Sr. until the early 1930s, when after a trip to Germany, Sr. changed his name to Martin Luther, in honor of the Protestant Reformation theologian. His son thus became Martin Luther King Jr. but his family members continued to call him Mike or M.L. for the rest of his life.
Martin Luther King Jr. as a child
Back to MLK’s birth house: it was restored by the National Parks Service to the period when MLK lived there as a young boy.
Look at the amazing vintage kitchen:
And have a look at the furniture and the oil cloth rug in the master bedroom:
Below is the “boy’s bedroom” where King Jr. slept and played during his formative years:
Here is a floor plan to give you a sense of the layout:
What a wonderful restoration!
2. MLK’s Parsonage Home
And here’s another one known as the Dexter Avenue Parsonage Museum in Montgomery, Alabama.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. resided here with his wife and children during his pastorate at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church from 1954-1960.
The nine-room clapboard bungalow was built in 1912 and has been restored to its appearance when Dr. King and his family lived there.
The parsonage was actually bombed several times during MLK’s tenure here, but fortunately, no one was injured.
The Dexter Parsonage Museum was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
King and his family lived here for about six years.
Much of the furniture on display was actually owned by the Kings, including the piano (below):
Below was King’s study where he wrote several of his notable speeches:
The dining room where the King family gathered each night:
And look, another vintage kitchen!
The master bedroom:
This lovely white bungalow is one of House Crazy Sarah’s favorite houses.
Kudos to the folks who had the foresight to save and restore it.
3. MLK’s Final Family Home
During the three years before his assassination, Martin Luther King Jr. lived with his family in this modest brick house in Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood.
King and his wife and four children moved into the house at 234 Sunset Avenue in 1965, and ended up buying the property a year later.
After his tragic death in 1968, King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, continued to live at this house until 2004. After that time, it was used by the King family as an office.
In 2019, the house was acquired by the National Parks Foundation and is currently being restored for use as a public museum.
Since it is under renovation, there are no photos (yet) of the interior.
But you can get a “sneak peak” inside the home here.
In House Crazy Sarah’s world, it is truly a testament to how respected a person is to have not one, but THREE old house museums restored in their honor.
Thank you for all that you fought for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!