Whaling Museum to Revitalize and Greatly Expand Captain Paul Cuffe Park

Design underway to reactivate the open space park in the heart of the New Bedford historic district

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – The New Bedford Whaling Museum is revitalizing and expanding Captain Paul Cuffe Park in the New Bedford historic district. The Museum has raised $500,000 of the estimated $600,000 needed for the project. A recent major grant of $300,000 from the Island Foundation has allowed the Museum to move forward with the design and planning process, with an anticipated ribbon cutting in fall 2017.

This project will quadruple the size of the current Cuffe Park, which stands at the corner of Union Street and Johnny Cake Hill and was dedicated in 2011. By enlarging the Park, the Museum will create a dynamic and active space that is ideal for community and educational events. The new Park will also create an active connection between the Whaling Museum, the Mariners’ Home, and the Seamen’s Bethel.

“The park is dedicated to honoring the African American heritage in the region. This city has an extraordinary history, which includes many pioneers and leaders from Paul Cuffe to Fredrick Douglass,” said Museum President James Russell. “We are thankful to our donors who are making it possible to expand this park so that more residents and visitors can learn about and observe the great historic figures that have roots in Old Dartmouth.” A companion exhibition exploring New Bedford’s role in the Abolitionist Movement will premiere concurrently in the Museum.

About Captain Paul Cuffe
Captain Paul Cuffe, a remarkable figure of the Old Dartmouth region, was both of African- and Native-American decent, born on Cuttyhunk, and worked in New Bedford and Westport. He stands apart as an inspiring example as an ambitious, spirited man who succeeded in business, politics, community endeavors, and in furthering civil and human rights. Cuffe made his fortune in the marine trades including whaling, shipping and trading, while he wrote law with the Governor of Massachusetts, and was one of the first African-American men to have a formal meeting with a sitting U.S. President.


Contact: Tina Malott
Communications Manager
New Bedford Whaling Museum


About the New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of human interaction with whales through time, and the history and culture of the South Coast region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. Museum hours: January through March, Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; April through December, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Admission is free for Museum members and children aged three and under; adults $16, seniors (65+) $14, students (19+) $9, child and youth $6. For more information visit www.whalingmuseum.org.