As the only membership-supported, community based cultural institution of its kind in Somerville, the Somerville Museum is the city’s mirror, playing a pivotal role in preserving the past, reflecting the present, and helping to shape the future of this diverse urban community. Through its innovative programming, the Museum seeks to engage its audience in an ongoing dialogue with local artists, scholars, and educators with the larger aim of fostering cultural education and understanding.
The Somerville Museum presents exhibitions featuring local visual arts, history and culture in the context of neighborhoods and community, as well as musical and dramatic performance series; develops hands-on history learning projects in collaboration with the Somerville Public School Department; and is available as a meeting place for local historical and cultural organizations. Along with the Somerville Historic Commission, the Museum supports the Paul Revere’s ride reenactment every April.
Also Historic Somerville partners with the Somerville Museum to organize presentations, exhibits, and historical reenactments. The Museum is an all volunteer organization dedicated to promoting the arts, history and culture of Somerville and receives no municipal support. It is located on the corner of Central Street, the geographic midline of city maps, in the literal heart of Somerville’s residential neighborhoods.
The Somerville Museum Building Fund
The Wallace Foundation has awarded the Somerville Museum $85,000 in matching funds to support construction of a new handicapped-accessible entrance and first floor restroom. These renovations along with numerous other changes were necessary to make the 1930s building friendly to those who are disabled, allowing the Museum to meet the regulations of the American with Disabilities Act.
The new entryway design will include a wheelchair lift and portico and has been approved by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission, and the Somerville Zoning Board of Appeals, along with the neighbors on Westwood Road. The cost of this project is estimated to be close to $200,000, and the goal is to have the Museum ADA compliant by the end of the year.
The History of the Museum
The construction of the Museum’s Federal Revival style building began in the 1920s in order to house the increasing collection of the Somerville Historical Society. In the 1980s, sensing a terrific opportunity for cultural revitalization, a few committed individuals raised the funds to restore and completely renovate the building. The result was the opening in 1988 of the Somerville Museum.
Thursday, 2 – 7 p.m.
Friday, 2 – 5 p.m.
Saturday, 12 – 5 p.m.
1 Westwood Road
Somerville, MA 02143