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Front of African Meeting House in Boston

photo by: Warren Jagger Photography

Historic Sites

African Meeting House and Abiel Smith School

A Distinctive Destination
  • Constructed: 1806 & 1835
  • Address: 46 Joy St
    Boston, Massachusetts 02114
  • Hours
    Monday–Saturday
    10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
  • Phone 617-725-0022, ext. 330

Visit African Meeting House and Abiel Smith School

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A National Trust Historic Site, The African Meeting House was built in 1806 and is the oldest existing black church building in the country built primarily by black artisans. The meeting house hosted numerous prominent abolitionists, including William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglas. The Abiel Smith School, built in 1835, was the nation's first building constructed for the sole purpose of housing a black public school.

At the end of the 19th century, as the African American community began to migrate from Boston's West End to the surrounding neighborhoods of South End and Roxbury, the building was sold to a Jewish congregation. It served as a synagogue until it was acquired by the Museum of African American History (MAAH) in 1972.

The African Meeting House is owned and operated by the Museum of African American History.

To receive discount, valid membership card must be presented at time of visit. Please contact site directly to ensure that discount is available on date of planned visit and for specific tour desired.

African Meeting House

photo by: Shawmut Design and Construction

Benefits for National Trust Members

50% Discount on Regular Public Tours

Join the National Trust to enjoy a host of membership benefits.

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Join the movement to save and sustain historic African American places. The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund will help every American see themselves, their history, and their potential in our collective story and national cultural landscape.

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