Part of National Civil Rights Museum To Shut Down For A Year

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(Memphis) Hundreds of thousands fill the halls of the Lorraine Motel each year, soaking in American history.

But for the next few months, visitors will have a chilling opportunity to see what many sacrificed in the civil rights struggle. 

For the first time, people will be able to stand on the balcony in the very spot Dr. King was assassinated.

" They will be able to see just the short distance it was from room 306 over to the rooming house building and to be able to reflect on those brief moments that took away the life of Dr. King," expressed Barbara Andrews, director of education for the National Civil Rights Museum.

That starts later this month, but the balcony will only stay open until the Spring, when the museum installs listening posts.

The inside of  the Lorraine Motel will get a whole new look, totalling more than 27 million dollars.

"Times have demanded that we incorporate a little more interactivity into our exhibitions, to freshen up some of the images and panels and to update history even," said Andrews.

Over the next year, the second building across the street will stay open for visitors.

"This history is just too important we couldn't shut down for a whole year," said Andrews.

Since there's less to do for the next year, ticket prices will also cost less, something that does worry the museum.

"We`re always concerned and we are looking for ways to attract people to the museum," said Andrews.

But Andrews adds, there are many positives for the community and museum in the temporary lower price.

" Reduced admission will allow more people to come and visit the museum that have not been able to pay the admission," said Andrews.

Andrews hopes new projects in the making in the end will attract more visitors to the museum and the city of Memphis.