With regard to Deborah Bodlander's piece about the Lorraine Motel site {"The Other Shrine in Memphis," Aug. 25}, the Lorraine has indeed been neglected. However, it is the site for an $8.8 million National Civil Rights Center that is scheduled to open in 1990.

Recently finalized funding for the center comes from the state of Tennessee, Shelby County and the city of Memphis. The center will be owned by the state and operated by the Lorraine Civil Rights Museum Foundation.

The center will offer exhibitions about American civil rights, and depending on future funding levels, primary exhibits should change every five years. The first major exhibit will be about the black civil rights movement from the 1920s to the present.

The main exhibit space will be behind the motel building and attached to it by a walkway with a skylight. The motel and hotel buildings will be restored to their 1968 appearance and will house special exhibits and the center's administrative and support offices.

I hope this summary of five years of effort gives a more positive view of state and local efforts to honor all those, including Martin Luther King Jr., who made sacrifices to secure individual liberties for all Americans.



Lorraine Civil Rights Museum Foundation, Inc.