African Burial Ground Memorial

26 Federal Plz
New York NY 10278
29 Reviews

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Opening Hours

  • Tue: 10am-4pm
  • Wed: 10am-4pm
  • Thu: 10am-4pm
  • Fri: 10am-4pm
  • Sat: 10am-4pm

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This 6.6-acre burial ground in Lower Manhattan, which was used to bury both free and enslaved Africans throughout the 1700s, was discovered in 1991 during the construction of a Federal office building. The site is now a national monument administered by the National Park Service.

Best and worst times to go to the African Burial Ground
The Memorial Site itself is outside and is best visited during pleasant weather. Note that while the visitor center is open year-round, the actual Memorial is closed during the winter. Note also that the remains of 419 individuals were reinterred at the African Burial Ground Memorial Site on October 4, 2003. As a result, October 4 has become a special day of remembrance and celebration at the African Burial Ground.

Must see/do at the African Burial Ground
The Park Ranger-led tour is highly recommended for all visitors, although groups of less than ten can tour the Burial Ground by themselves. Larger groups must make reservations for the tour at least two weeks in advance.

Admission to the African Burial Ground
The Visitor Center (located inside 290 Broadway) is open year-round Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, when it is closed. The Memorial Site (located outside) is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from March to October. Admission is free.

Parking and Public Transportation to the African Burial Ground
The Visitor Center for the African Burial Ground is located on the first floor of the Ted Weiss Federal Building. The memorial is located next to this building, on the corner of Duane Street and African Burial Ground Way (Elk Street). Parking is notoriously difficult in Lower Manhattan; public transportation is recommended.

By subway, take the 1, 2, 3, A, C, J or Z train to Chambers Street; the R train to City Hall; or the 4, 5, 6 train to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall.

Food at the African Burial Ground
No food is served or allowed at the Visitor Center or Memorial.

Insider tip for visitors to the African Burial Ground
All visitors must go through airport-style screening before entering the Visitor Center building, so allow sufficient time for this process. Groups should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to their scheduled presentation's start time.

Other places to visit near the African Burial Ground
The Africal Burial Ground is just north of City Hall and City Hall Park. The Brooklyn Bridge is also close by.

Author's Bio: Victoria Franzese is a proud New Yorker who owned, operated, and wrote for a successful online travel guide for 15 years. Now, thankfully, all of her travel is purely for fun. See where she's going next at @VOFranzese.