Raleigh City Museum

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Raleigh City Museum

Featuring exhibits that change periodically and focus on the history of the city, the museum is housed in the historic Briggs Building, built in 1874 as a hardware store. The building retains many of its original features, including the tin ceiling in the museum gallery. A gift shop carries unique items associated with Raleigh’s history. Free admission. Group tours available with advance notice. Hours: Tues.-Fri., 10am-4pm; Sat., 1-4pm.


For more than 200 years, Raleigh, North Carolina's capital city, had no repository for its historical artifacts, no place to preserve its past, and no institution to educate its citizens and visitors about the city's rich heritage. That all changed in 1993 when the Raleigh City Museum opened its first exhibit.

The Raleigh City Museum, a private non-profit organization, grew out of the dream of Raleigh historian Beth Crabtree and after Beth's death, the vision and perseverance of Mary Cates. It was in 1990 that Mary Cates began bringing together a group of advocates for a Raleigh City Museum.

The Raleigh City Museum is the only home for artifacts of the city and its people. It is an educational center using exhibits, lectures and programs to help residents and visitors learn about the diverse aspects of the city's people, places and events.

One of the greatest aspects of the Raleigh City Museum continues to be its efforts to preserve the artifacts of the city. Through professional methods, the museum collects, preserves and researches artifacts that provide clues to the city's development and daily life. Without the museum, these artifacts would have no repository and would be lost. The museum is always in a race against time, trying to save all it can now in order to educate future generations about their past.

The Raleigh City Museum continues to be an integral part of the community for the services it provides to the general public. As the state capital and as its own municipality, Raleigh has a unique history. That history needs to be preserved in order for citizens, especially schoolchildren who will be our future leaders, to understand how Raleigh has become the city it is today.

220 Fayetteville St
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