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Museum of African American History
46 Joy Street
Beacon Hill
Boston, MA

The Museum of African American History’s Boston campus consists of two historic sites, the African Meeting House and the Abiel Smith School, and the 14-site Black Heritage Trail® walking tour.

The African Meeting House and Abiel Smith School on Beacon Hill, both built in the early 1800's, are two of the Museum of African American History's most valuable assets. Located in what once was the heart of Boston's 19th-century African American community, these buildings remain a showcase of black community organization and enduring testimony to black craftsmanship. Once a church, a school, a vital community meeting place, the African Meeting House is open to the public. The Abiel Smith School, the nation's first public school for African American children, currently houses a first-class exhibit space and the museum store. Home of the Museum’s exhibit galleries and Museum Store. The first publicly funded schoolhouse in the country for African-American children (1835). The school is one of the final stops on the Black Heritage Trail®


  • Abiel Smith School: The first building in the nation built for the sole purpose of serving as a public school for black children, this historic site has been transformed into exhibit galleries and a museum store.
  • The African Meeting House on Beacon Hill was built in 1806 in what once was the heart of Boston's 19th century African American community. It is today a showcase of black community organization in the formative years of the new republic.
  • The Black Heritage Trail® is a walking tour that explores the history of Boston's 19th century African American community. Guided walking tours are offered daily Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend

The Museum of African American History is located at 46 Joy Street, on the corner of Smith Court, on Beacon Hill, Boston, Mass. By Car: From Storrow Drive, take the Government Center exit onto Cambridge Street. Continue on Cambridge Street approximately 1/2 mile to Joy Street, on the right. NO PARKING AVAILABLE: There are a number of parking lots and garages in the area. The closest is the Cambridge Street Garage located underneath the Holiday Inn.


Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm

Adults $5.00
Youth and Seniors (ages 13-17 & 62 and older) $3.00
Museum Members & Children 12 years and under Free

Public Transportation:
Take the Red or Green Line to Park Street. Walk up Park Street toward the State House (gold dome) on Beacon Street. Turn left onto Beacon and right onto Joy Street. The Museum is located at 46 Joy Street. Take the Blue Line to Bowdoin Street Monday-Friday only 6:30 am to 6:30 pm. Cross Cambridge Street, Turn right and walk one block to left on Joy St.