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

City of Raleigh Museum


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Overview Field Trips and Educational Programs Exhibits Rentals History Volunteering 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.

Contact

 

Ernest Dollar | 919-996-3022

Historic Resources and Museum Program

Address

City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

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Overview

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 CORmuseum for information on supporting the museum.

Field Trips and Educational 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 - 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!

Exhibits

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

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.

Joseph Winters: The Music Maker explores the life of one of the city’s earliest African American policemen who also brought musical legends including James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles to perform in Raleigh. The exhibit, which features facts about Winters’ life and some of the legendary artists who entertained Raleigh audiences, will run through February 2021.

The People's 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 significants decisions from Raleigh's past, and cast their vote on current challenges facing citizens and leaders of our growing city. 

Raleigh's City Flag: Lost and Found. Did you know 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. 

From Plantation to Park: The Story of Dix Hill is a joint venture with the Dix Park Conservancy, explores the long history and future of Raleigh’s newest park. From Plantation to Park explores four perspectives on the land known as Dix Hill.

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.

Rentals

Wedding guests dancing

Please note that the City of Raleigh Museum rentals are subject to state and city COVID-19 mass gathering limits and other safety requirements.

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, tall 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 much more.

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 or 120 seated. The lobby can accommodate standing receptions for up to 75 guests or 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, or workshops. The classroom can accommodate up to 50 guests.

Museum Rental

The museum is available for rent Monday-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.

History

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

Volunteering

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!

Membership

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, Borden, Tucker, and Pope House Museum.

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