• New Atlanta civil rights museum opening in 6 months


    ATLANTA - Six months from Friday, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum opens in downtown Atlanta.

    It's a $75 million project, and Channel 2's Erin Coleman got an exclusive first look inside at what's coming and how it's helping with the resurgence in downtown Atlanta.

    Standing in what will be the entrance to the new museum, CEO Doug Shipman showed Coleman the vision.

    "On this wall and on this wall both of those is going to be the story of the March on Washington," Shipman said. "That's the staircase that goes down to the King papers gallery."

    The $75 million project is only six months out from opening day, a project seven years in the making.

    "It's going to connect the legacy of the civil rights movement to contemporary human rights issues in a way that really appeals to young people. So this is going to have a lot of technology in it. It has a lot of storytelling in it," Shipman said.

    Crews are working on the duct work so in the next six weeks or so, the entire building will be enclosed with heat running all 42,000-square-feet of it so they can start to work on things like the flooring and painting.

    Shipman said timing is everything. Even with all the buzz about the Braves leaving downtown Atlanta for Cobb County, he said a major resurgence is taking place.

    "Just for our area there are three things coming on line within a few months of each other: The Center for Civil and Human Rights, the street car and the College Football Hall of Fame and what that's already leading to is a high interest in conferences, meetings, events coming back to downtown," Shipman said.

    In fact, the center has already booked more than a dozen events and it's not even finished yet.

    "There's no question that being in here and seeing it come to life is incredibly exciting," Shipman said.

    The building is also LEED certified, meaning it's a green, environmentally friendly project.

    Opening day is May 22, 2014.

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