If you haven't noticed already, Boston is full of "Firsts" and "Oldest" things in America. The Boston Athenaeum is no exception; it was founded in the early 19th century, making it one of the oldest libraries in the United States.
The Athenaeum moved a few times before arriving at its current Beacon Street location in 1849. The building is designed by Edward Clark Cabot, and it was originally three stories tall. The fourth and fifth floors were added when the building underwent a complete renovation in 1913-1914. Architect Henry Forbes designed the additional floors and had the whole building fireproofed. The Athenaeum became a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
Visitors are allowed to visit the first floor of this historic building which is filled with art galleries and rotating exhibits. The walls are lined with hundreds of antique books, making up a collection that includes books from George Washington and King William III.
Guided tours are offered in groups to further explain the vast collections at this institute. There are also events held daily for members and nonmembers that give a peek into the specific collections housed here. However, in order to experience all the Athenaeum has to offer, membership is required, and it doesn't come cheap! Memberships start at over $200 a year per individual.
Cover Photo credit: @igersmass Instagram
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