- Civil Rights Memorial Center
Here you can find names like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, and James Chaney (who was sadly murdered by the Ku Klux Klan). This memorial was designed by Maya Lin, famous for the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC. It’s a serene monument to all those who dedicated their lives to forwarding Civil Rights in America. Maya Lin was inspired by King’s quotation: “We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream…” from his “I have a Dream” speech.
- Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church and Parsonage
Then after the Civil Rights Memorial Center, you can go to the church that King actually preached in (it’s the only one he ever did preach in, in fact). King was the church’s 20th pastor. The church was to become a center for the Montgomery bus boycott that lasted 381 days in 1955 with King directing proceedings from his office in the lower part of the church.
- St. John’s Episcopal Church, Montgomery
From the Baptist church to the Episcopal church, see St. John’s church which is the oldest Episcopal church in Montgomery. Originally people purchased their seats and those seats then belonged to them. One famous pew was originally owned by Confederate President, Jefferson Davis. He and his family would come to this church to worship. His pew is now a memorial. Throughout its later history, the church took on many different roles from acting as a hospital to providing entertainment to military visitors.
- The Capitol, Montgomery
The ground on which the capital stands is affectionately called Goat Hill because of its original purpose as a pasture. The murals on its walls illustrate Alabama’s turbulent history. The artist who created them, Scottish-born Roderick MacKenzie, took four years to produce them in his own little mobile studio. Jefferson Davis took his oath as (first, and only) President of the Confederate States of America outside the building on the top step.
- The Confederacy White House
This house stands close to the Capitol building. It was built by William Sayre and has many artifacts of the era. It’s well worth checking out.
- Rosa Parks Museum
Finally, don’t miss the Rosa Parks Museum in the old Empire Theater. It has a replica of the bus where Mrs. Parks was arrested and where she was destined to go on to change the course of American history.
These six buildings are all must-sees on any visit to this historic and endearing city in the South.