City of Raleigh Museum
Historical Resources and Museum Program
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. 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.
220 Fayetteville Street Raleigh, NC 27601 | Get Directions
Site Features & Hours
Sunday: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday through Saturday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Admission is now FREE daily! A recommended donation of $5 for adults can be placed in our donation box in the gift shop.
- Walking Tours of Fayetteville Street (See Events section for details)
- School Programs
- Gift Shop
- Special Events
- Volunteer Program
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.
The City of Raleigh Museum's lobby, first floor gallery and lower level classroom are available for functions such as rehearsal dinners, buffet receptions, fundraisers, seminars, and workshops.
- Restrooms and a kitchen are located on the lower level for your convenience
- Furnishings (chairs and tables) are available for a small fee
- Parking is available in the Moore Square and Alexander Square pay parking decks or on-street throughout downtown. Parking is free on weekends.
Lobby/Main Gallery (1st Floor)
Availability dependent upon the Museum's public schedule. An ideal backdrop to events that celebrate important milestones, such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries, or civic functions. Gallery can accommodate standing buffet receptions for up to 150 guests.
Classroom (Lower Level)
Provides a comfortable environment for business meetings, seminars or workshops. Classroom can accommodate up to 50 guests.
- Download Rental Packet (contains rates, fees, deposits and space information)
- Download General Information Form
For further information, contact the museum at 919-996-2220 to discuss availability of the Museum on your desired date.
Events & Exhibits
Capital Cartography: A History of Raleigh in Maps, showcases over two hundred years of Raleigh's development through a collection of historic maps. The exhibit looks at maps as more than way finding tools, but as artifacts that reflect the culture of the draftsmen who crafted them. The exhibit features 14 maps that reflect over 200 years of the Capital city's history.
R3: Raleigh Then, Raleigh Now, Raleigh Next: Explore Raleigh's history through 200 years of artifacts and images. This multimedia exhibit offers a glimpse into the city's rich cultural landscape through fun and challenging games and interactive programs. The COR Museum's mascot, Sir Sammy the Squirrel, helps children learn about how trees in the City of Oaks can reveal secrets about the past.
Let Us March On: Raleigh's Journey Towards Civil Rights recounts the forty-year period from the mid-1930s to the mid-1970s as the city struggled toward equal rights for all. The exhibit covers desegregation in schools and institutions of higher education as well as the efforts of individuals, both black and white, who worked for integration.
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.
Our War: Voices of Raleigh's World War II Veterans features the voices of veterans who experienced war in vastly different ways despite being involved in the same conflict. Though 70 years have passed, many personal events of the war are fresh in the minds of veterans. By sharing their stories, these veterans give us a revealing look at what it was like to grow up in 1930s Raleigh and join a segregated military. By collecting their stories in their own words it is hoped the exhibit will be a testament to the varied contributions of Raleigh's diverse residents.
Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation - October 29, 2016 through April 2, 2017. From the builders of some of America's earliest railroads and farms to Civil Rights pioneers to digital technology entrepreneurs, Indian Americans have long been an inextricable part of American life. Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation explores the Indian American experience and the community's vital political, professional, and cultural contributions to American life and history. The exhibition moves past pop-culture stereotypes of Indian Americans to explore the heritage, daily experience, and diverse contributions of Indian immigrants and their descendants in the United States. Weaving together stories of individual achievement and collective struggle, Beyond Bollywood uses photography, narrative, multimedia, and interactive stations to tell a uniquely American story, while conveying the texture, vibrancy, and vitality of Indian American communities. Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation was created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
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% gift shop discount at Mordecai and City Museum
- 10% 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.