Arts & Culture Business

West End Museum to Reopen July 29

The West End Museum is pleased to announce its doors will reopen to the public on Wednesday, July 29 after four-and-a-half months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Museum will be open for its regular pre-pandemic hours, although at reduced capacity per city and state directives. As always, admission is free, but donations are encouraged.

“We are excited to invite our members, friends, and the public back into the Museum and have worked hard to ensure a safe environment for all,” said Sebastian Belfanti, museum director. “While we have connected digitally with our members and followers throughout our closure, that is no substitute for the in-person experience of the Museum. We can’t wait to see your faces, even under masks.”

In addition to following all city and state directives — such as face-covering and physical distancing requirements — the Museum will adhere to its own phased reopening plan, which Belfanti and the board of directors began developing in April.

The plan details stages and corresponding protocols designed to protect the health and safety of vistors, volunteers, and staff. Those include:

  • rigorous cleaning and disinfecting
  • limits on staffing
  • restricted access to offices
  • ban on onsite programming and rentals (Barring a local resurgence in COVID-19 cases and/or deaths, events will return, also in phases.)

The Museum has temporarily extended its “Cycling Legends of the West End” exhibit (the run having been cut short by the mandated closure), which spotlights three key characters in bicycling history: two West End residents and one longtime physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. The cycling exhibit will transition briefly to a revamped show exploring the roots and legacy of urban renewal in the US and in Boston. And of course, the permanent exhibit, “The Last Tenement,” remains on display.

This fall, the Museum plans to premiere “Learned from Our Neighbors: Stories from the Elizabeth Peabody House,” a new exhibit developed in partnership with Simmons University and Boston City Archives. The show will celebrate the settlement house; social worker, Simmons alumna, and Peabody House Director Eva Whiting White; and life in the West End. A digital preview is available here.

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