Room 306 Balcony Opens At the Old Lorraine Motel in Memphis
On April 4 1968, Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated while standing on a balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN. Since that day, the hotel has found new life as the National Civil Rights Museum, an impressive collection of photographs, videos and written accounts chronicling the history of the civil rights movement.
As historic hotels go, they don't come much more important than this place. And now the museum is adding to its repertoire.
Though room 306 has always been open to visitors (everything, from the furniture, curtains, carpet, rotary telephone and current newspaper, has been recreated to make the room look exactly the way it did when Dr. King stayed there), that was as far as they could go. Which is still quite a profound experience, given how much time Dr. King spent in that particular room (he was no stranger to the motel—in fact, room 306 was nicknamed the King-Abernathy Suite in his honor, after so many repeat stays).
But now, after a renovation, the museum is finally allowing visitors to step out onto the balcony, which was previously closed off. The idea, evidently, is to enhance visitors' experience by offering them the opportunity to stand exactly where Dr. King stood when he was shot.
The renovations are scheduled to be completed by November 19. If you plan on visiting the museum, check out our Memphis Travel Guide to find the best hotel for your budget. And while you're there, don't forget to say hit to the infamous Peabody ducks!