Needham History Center & Museum

About NHC & M

Celebrating History for over 100 Years

Since 1915, the Needham History Center & Museum has celebrated the history of Needham and the accomplishments of its residents.

In April of 2006,  Needham History Center & Museum moved to its new headquarters in the renovated Matthias Mills House (1834) and Upper Falls Schoolhouse (1842). Both structures were moved from their original locations on Central Avenue, to their new location at 1147 Central Avenue.  A small structure was built to join the two buildings.

This generous space has allowed us to grow and embrace the community in new ways. Through exhibits, programs, publications and outreach to the schools and community groups, the Needham History Center is committed to preserving and sharing this unique legacy.

Improved Space

  • Facilitate collaboration with the Town and the public schools
  • Provide much-needed program and teaching space
  • Provides for greater public access to exhibits and research collections
  • Offers greater visibility of the site with adequate parking and full accessibility for all visitors
  • Improved workspace for staff and volunteers
  • Increased security for collections and storage
  • Serve as an improved venue for History Center programs
  • A location for the meetings and events of other local organizations.
  • Allow space for handicapped-accessible entries, restrooms, and an elevator.

Adaptive Reuse of Historic Structures

The renovation of our new headquarters also set an example of adaptive reuse of historic structures, a small counterbalance to the rapid destruction of our historic house inventory through tear-down and development. The Kingsbury-Whitaker house (our former home) was sold under a covenant administered by Historic New England/SPNEA, requiring its preservation as a National Register property. Both the Mills House and the Schoolhouse were intended for demolition before they were relocated by the Needham History Center. We were thus able to assure the long-term preservation of three important historic structures.