8 Adams Street
Adams Academy Bldg.
Quincy, MA 02169
James P. Edwards
First Vice President
Second Vice President
Hon. Michael Bellotti
Hon. John Keenan
James Larkin, emeritus
Dana Ricciardi, PhD
Edward Fitzgerald, PhD,
Founded in 1893 by local citizens led by Charles Francis Adams, Jr., Quincy Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and promoting knowledge about the full range of Quincy history. It remains a community-based organization even as it deals with topics of national and international, as well as local, interest.
At its home in the Adams Academy Building, the Society maintains collections of historical archives and artifacts. Its museum and library are open to the public year-round. It offers a variety of publications and programs for the general public and provides instruction on local history in area schools.
About the Adams Academy Building and Its Site
The Adams Academy, a national historic landmark, stands on the site of the colonial house that was the birthplace of the patriot John Hancock and that was later the home of Josiah Quincy Sr. and Josiah Quincy, Jr. That house burned to the ground in 1760.
In 1822 President John Adams deeded properties to the town of Quincy to establish a fund to build a new town church and to found a college preparatory school for boys.
Adams specified that the school be built on the site of the home of Hancock and the Quincys.
It fell to John's grandson, Charles Francis Adams I, to oversee construction of a building and open the school. The Adams Academy opened in the fall of 1872. The building, by Boston architects Ware and Van Brunt, featured a gothic revival style and a distinctive use of Quincy granite.
Despite distinguished faculty and a reputation for excellence, the school closed in 1908. The Academy building underwent a variety of uses for the next 60 years. In the early 1970s, the Academy became the permanent home of the Quincy Historical Society. In 1994 the Academy was designated a Registered National Historic Landmark, both for its connection to the Adams family and for its architectural significance.
Preserving the Adams Academy
As steward of the building, Quincy Historical Society has undertaken an ongoing process of preservation and restoration. In the 1970s, the Society restored the original cathedral ceilings in the Academy's two main galleries. In 2000, the Society introduced adaptations that retained the integrity of the building while making it accessible to persons with disabilities. In 2002, preservation and replacement work was done on the roof to guarantee the integrity of the building. In 2005, in conjunction with the opening of the Society's new Quincy History Museum, the Society restored the Academy lobby to a state closer to its original 19th century appearance.
The Society has been aided in preserving the Academy by generous support from the City of Quincy, the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and businesses and individuals. Further preservation work is planned.
Quincy Historical Society, founded in 1893, is a not-for-profit organization, incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.