African Meeting House

Boston, Massachusetts

Built primarily by black artisans, the African Meeting House -- the nation’s first -- opened in 1806 in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. Known as the Black Faneuil Hall, the African Meeting House enabled people of all races to assemble in peace and advocate for freedom. As a church, school, meeting place, and a synagogue - it was the center of community activity for more than 160 years. In that time, this National Historic Landmark experienced nearly as many renovations as it did uses. By 2004, its owner, the Museum of African American History, decided to restore the African Meeting House to how it looked in 1855 –its most significant point in history. The meticulous project reversed previous renovations, often decades old, to find and conserve the historic fabric. Countless research hours and plenty of creative solutions were necessary to ensure that modern systems were seamlessly integrated into the historic structure. The result? A beautiful sanctuary of elegant simplicity that once again serves as a place for public assembly and education.