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Adams Academy was a school that opened in 1872. It was built as a preparatory school and was funded with a bequest of former President John Adams. Due to lack on enrollment, Adams Academy was closed in 1908 and today serves as the headquarters of the Quincy Historical Society.

  • The Adams Academy Building, home of the Quincy Historical Society & Museum.

The Adams Academy was conceived by John Adams, the second president of the United States. It was built in 1893 under a supervision of his son Charles Francis Adams, Ambassador to England from 1861 to 1869, on the site where the legendary patriot John Hancock was born.

The Adams Academy building was designed in High Gothic style by William Robert Ware and Henry Van Brunt, prominent American architects. The structure is built of Quincy granite with brick trim.  It is the first American building based on principles established by French architect Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, expressing Gothic principles in modern materials. Viollet-le-Duc was the architect hired to design the internal structure of the Statue of Liberty, but died before the project was completed.   

Today the building houses the Quincy Historical Society whose museum showcases permanent and changing exhibits of the city’s history, from Native American times up through the early 21st century. The library within the museum houses rare books, manuscripts, images, and maps, pamphlets, audio and video recordings. The library covers the full range of Quincy history, including Adams family ephemera, the Quincy granite industry, Quincy shipbuilding, and genealogy.