Major components of the complex include a museum and the Lorraine Motel and hotel buildings. The complex also includes the Young and Morrow building at 422 Main Street, which was the site where James Earl Ray initially confessed to shooting King. The complex additionally includes the Canipe’s Amusement Store at 418 Main Street. The store is next door to the rooming house where the alleged murderer weapon, with Ray’s fingerprints, was found.
The Lorraine Motel was originally names the Windsor Hotel in 1925. It was renamed Marquette Hotel in 1945 and offered for sale. Walter Bailey purchased it in 1945 and renamed, after his wife Loree and a song title “sweet Lorraine.” At the time of purchase the Lorraine motel included a café’ and living quarters for the Baileys. The Lorraine Motel is designated an historic site by the Tennessee Historical Commission.
The National Civil Rights Museum was birthed out of