This is the Briggs Hardware building which is home to the City of Raleigh Museum.

City of Raleigh Museum

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Visit Exhibits Education Programs Summer Camp Field Trips Rentals History Volunteers Membership

The City of Raleigh Museum is located on Fayetteville Street, Raleigh’s “Main Street” and the center of Downtown. Housed in a historic former hardware store, the museum is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of North Carolina’s capital City while envisioning its future.



Ernest Dollar | 919-996-3022

Historic Resources and Museum Program


City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville Street
Raleigh, NC 27601




View of the interior of the City of Raleigh museum

The museum curates temporary and permanent exhibits about the City’s people, places, and resources; maintains a collection of approximately 5,000 artifacts; and offers educational programming and tours. Visit Friends of COR museum for information on supporting the museum.

The museum is free and open to the public.


9 a.m.–4 p.m.
9 a.m.–4 p.m.
9 a.m.–4 p.m.
9 a.m.–4 p.m.
9 a.m.–4 p.m.
1 p.m.–4 p.m.


View of the Dix Hill exhibit in the City of Raleigh Museum

Raleigh’s Living Room: Rest, Reflect, Respond: This exhibit focuses on art therapy and the need for self-care during these very stressful times. Every month, the exhibit will feature a prompt that asks visitors to reflect on a certain aspect of their lives then draw a response on the dry erase wall. Additionally, each month a local artist will respond to the same prompt and their art will be visible for the month. Open until February 21, 2022.

Women of Change: The Legacy of the 19th Amendment: The Women of Change exhibit chronicles the quests for equal suffrage in 1920 and what women did with the vote over the next century. Visitors will be introduced to Raleigh’s suffragists, organizers, and elected officials who redefined women’s role in politics. The exhibit celebrates a century of struggle and successes with artifacts, photos, and displays of women who made change happen.

The Peoples Politics: Local Democracy in Raleigh. How does local government affect you? Does your opinion matter? Can you make a difference? The City of Raleigh Museum will explore these questions in its newest exhibit. This exhibit tells the story of City government and democracy at a local level, from the election of Raleigh’s first mayor in 1795 to issues facing current and future mayors. Using research from City Council minutes and artifacts from the museum’s collection, this interactive exhibit highlights the citizen role in law-making, giving visitors the opportunity to examine significant decisions from Raleigh’s past and cast their vote on current challenges facing citizens and leaders of our growing City. 

Raleighs City Flag: Lost and Found. Did you know that Raleigh is one of only 450 cities with a flag? How did the flag come into existence? Who designed it, and what does it mean? Come learn the story behind one of Raleigh’s most visible symbols. This exhibit tells the story of the long journey of the City’s most iconic emblem. 

Let Us March On: Raleigh's Journey Toward Civil Rights tells the story of Raleigh's struggles to unite a divided society. The exhibit features a timeline of events and images through more than 5 decades of a movement for equal rights for all.

Hello! We are Raleigh: Our capital City has such a vibrant and colorful history that we can’t wait to share with you. The objects, photos, and stories in the exhibit show you where we came from, reveal how we lived, and tell us who we are today. The City of Raleigh Museum invites you to discover the deep roots of the “City of Oaks” and share in its future. Together, we are Raleigh.

Education Programs

Girls working together on activity at COR Museum

We strive to make history come alive! Our goal is to provide a variety of hands-on programs that will engage students and get them excited about their local history. Our programs use local historic sites, artifacts, and photographs. Many of our programs correspond to exhibits currently on display at the museum. Some programs will have recommended grade levels, and some can be adapted to multiple grade levels. These programs can be a fun and unique way to meet NC Standard Course of Study goals in social studies, English, African-American studies, and art.

If you are interested in registering your class for a program, follow these steps:

  1. Take a look at our program offerings and their corresponding essential standard.
  2. Fill out all necessary information on the Education Program request form and make sure it is correct.
  3. Choose 3 programs to fill out your day. Programs are offered Tuesday through Friday.
  4. Have a few dates in mind, as your initial date may be taken.
  5. Wait for us to confirm your trip and details.

Summer Camp Field Trips

The Historic Resources and Museum Program (HRM Program) is excited to offer new opportunities for summer camps and groups to visit our sites and museums this year! From historic trolley tours and wax seal making to planning your own city and discovering artifacts, there are so many different ways to explore Raleigh’s history this summer!


Wedding guests dancing

Located in the 1874 historic Briggs Building, the City of Raleigh Museum showcases the building’s beautiful storefront as well as its original hardwood floors, pressed-tin ceiling, and other unique architectural details. The museum’s lobby and main galleries as well as its lower-level classroom are available to rent for weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners, birthday parties, office parties, semi-formals, reunions, workshops, and other events.

Rental information brochure

Amenities include

  • Tables (including standing cocktail) and chairs included in the rental
  • Additional restrooms and a small kitchen on the lower level
  • Space to store party supplies both before and after the event
  • Central Downtown location in the middle of all the city’s nightlife
  • On-street parking and conveniently located parking decks

Lobby Gallery and A.J. Fletcher Foundation Gallery

The Lobby Gallery and A.J. Fletcher Foundation Gallery, which may be rented separately or together, make an ideal backdrop to celebrate important milestones. The gallery can accommodate standing buffet receptions for up to 150 guests (120 seated). The lobby can accommodate standing receptions for up to 75 guests (50 seated).

Woman’s Club of Raleigh Classroom (Lower Level)

The Woman’s Club of Raleigh Classroom provides an intimate setting for business meetings, seminars, and workshops. The classroom can accommodate up to 50 guests.

Museum Rental

The museum is available for rent Monday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Sunday mornings from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

For more information or to confirm museum availability, please contact the City of Raleigh Museum Rental Manager Lynda Fuller or call 919-996-2220.

Take note: Requests will be subject to staff approval. Upon approval, payment will be required to confirm the reservation. Your reservation is not finalized until you receive confirmation of your payment.


Opened in 1865, the hardware store thrived and soon outgrew its original building. Completed in 1874, a new building was erected on the same site and was heralded as “the tallest building in east Carolina and Raleigh’s first skyscraper.” In 1994, after 120 years downtown, the hardware business was relocated. Three years later, the A.J. Fletcher Foundation and Preservation North Carolina teamed together to acquire and rehabilitate the structure. The City of Raleigh Museum occupies the first and lower levels of the building.

Read more about the history of the Briggs Building


If you are interested in volunteering at the City of Raleigh Museum, please contact Megan Raby or view the volunteer information for the Historic Resources and Museum Program.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Education Programs support: Work with our field trip program to provide interactive learning opportunities to school groups. Training will be provided.
  • Events support: Help the museum put on events for the community. From educational booths during festivals to music programs and more!


As a member, you will help revitalize and preserve North Carolina’s history. You will also enjoy cross program perks at the City of Raleigh Museum, the Raleigh Trolley, Mordecai Historic Park, and Borden, Tucker, and Pope House Museums.

There are many perks:

  • Free admission to select site and museum events
  • Free admission for select tours
  • Free admission to select lectures
  • Free admission to Mordecai Historic Park
  • Free admission to City of Raleigh Museum
  • 10 percent gift shop discount at Mordecai and City Museum
  • 10 percent discount on all site rentals
  • The Raleigh Register Program Newsletter

To become a member, please visit the Friends of the City of Raleigh Museum website

Upcoming Events