Millennium Gate Museum offers quiet spot to learn about state

Q: We recently moved our son into an apartment near Atlantic Station and saw an arc-type structure that looks out of place. Would you tell me about it?

A: You are referring to The Millennium Gate Museum, a miniature version of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, at the corner of State Street and 17th Street.

As you are heading toward Atlantic Station from IKEA, the road splits and the museum is in the median.

At the west entrance, trees surround a small lake with two fountains and a crossover bridge. Seating is available to enjoy the view.

A memorial outside the museum is called the Millennium Gate Cenotaph and recognizes Atlantans who have died in tragedies or accidents throughout the city’s history.

The four plaques include: the Siege of Atlanta (1864), the Winecoff Hotel fire (1946), the Orly plane crash (1962) and the plane crash on Mount Kenya (2003), in addition to listing four Atlantans who were killed in the past 100 years.

On a recent Monday afternoon, there were only two other visitors in the museum, one from Germany and the other from Atlanta.

“Sometimes it’s packed in here and other times there’s nobody,” said the ticket taker who put his sandwich down to show guests around.

The Millennium Gate opened July 4, 2008. The 82-foot monument houses a 12,000 square-foot museum with galleries about Georgia history and the contributions of many Atlanta’s pioneer families.

Numerous exhibits are portrayed in the galleries from the 18th century to the 21st. The museum also features three period rooms that contain their original furniture and objects.

On the third floor of the museum, available by appointment only, is Dr. Alveda King’s collection of about 3,000 books, from romance novels to cookbooks to politics. She the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and daughter of civil rights activist the Rev. A.D. King and his wife, Naomi Barber King.

In this room are several pictures on the walls, including a large painting by Steve Penley of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Roughly 100 feet up on the roof, a balcony surrounds a glass pavilion office with a beautiful view of downtown Atlanta.

“Looking out the west end is a greenspace, a macro of Charleston,” the guide told the guests as they took pictures with their cell phones.

The Millennium Gate Museum is located at 395 – 17th St. N.W., Atlanta.

Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission: General $12 – Senior (65+), Student or Military $10. For more information, call 404-881-0900

Parking: Two hour complimentary parking at Atlantic Station. Park near stairwells 8, 10 and 16.

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