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New York's African Burial Ground National Monument - An Overview


African Burial Ground National Monument, New York

African Burial Ground National Monument, New York

© Garret Ziegler via Flickr


African Burial Ground National Monument
290 Broadway, 1st Floor
New York, NY 10007
Phone: (212) 637-2019


From about the 1690s until 1794, free and enslaved Africans were buried in a 6.6-acre burial ground in Lower Manhattan, outside the boundaries of the settlement of New Amsterdam. It has been estimated that there may have been 15,000-20,000 burials there. This area would later be known as New York. The grounds were rediscovered in 1991 thanks to planned construction of a Federal office building. It was declared a national monument on February 27, 2006, by President George W. Bush.

When to Visit:

The African Burial Ground National Monument's Visitor Center hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed all federal holidays. The memorial hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, and all other federal holidays.

Getting There:

The African Burial Ground National Monument is located in Lower Manhattan, close to Foley Square and north of City Hall. It is easily accessible by public transportation which is much easier than driving and parking in the city.

You may also choose to use the bus which includes service in the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd Street, PATH Trains servicing the World Trade Center Station and additional stations in Manhattan, Metro North servicing Grand Central Terminal at 42nd Street, and New Jersey Transit and Long Island Rail Road trains servicing Pennsylvania Station at 34th Street.

If you fly into the city, the following airports may be used: John F Kennedy (JFK), Liberty/Newark (EWR), La Guardia (LGA), Teterboro (TEB), Macarthur/Islip (ISP), and Westchester (HPN).


There is no admission fee to visit the monument. However, donations are accepted and are used for interpretive programming. If you are traveling in a group larger than 10, you will need to make a reservation by calling 212-637-2019.


Pets are not allowed in the visitor center or at the memorial, but guide and other assist animals are welcome.

Major Attractions:

Tours: Off-site presentations and a 90-minute walking tour about the African presence in early New York are a great way to learn about the monument. Call 212-637-2019.

A Broader View: The African Presence in Early New York: This 90-minute walking tour highlights how free and enslaved Africans played an important role in the development of New York City. Walking tours start at 10 a.m. and are free. Wear comfortable shoes and bring water. Remember there is a limit to 16 in a group. For more information, call 212-637-2019.

Visitor Center: Be sure to start here for four exhibit areas, a 40-person theatre, and a bookstore. Park rangers also present educational programs and provide interpretation of the commemorative art commissioned for the African Burial Ground National Monument.

Memorial: This honors the memories of the estimated 15,000 enslaved and free Africans who were placed in the burial ground during the 17th and 18th centuries.

*Both the visitor center and outdoor memorial are wheelchair accessible.

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