Project Map


ATTRACTION TYPE Museum/gallery


BUDGET $120,000,000*


Many African Americans can likely trace an ancestor who arrived in the USA through Charleston. The International African American Museum has been constructed on Gadsden’s Wharf, the point of entry to America for a significant portion of enslaved Africans transported here during the transatlantic slave trade. More than just a museum, the IAAM is intended to be a site of memory. The museum aims to examine how enslaved Africans and free blacks shaped economic, political, and cultural development in the nation and beyond. Films, documents, and digital archives aid visitors in placing the story of African arrival in a historical context. Across nine exhibition spaces, the museum traces the journey of African American culture, from an exhibit exploring the history of rice beginning in 300 B.C.E to the contemporary history of the regional Gullah Geechee communities. The new museum also allows IAAM to display almost all of its collection, including a contemporary art collection, displayed in a ‘floating gallery’. Designed by Moody Nolan and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the building is a modernist, 47,000-square-foot pavilion raised above the ground on thick columns clad in precast oyster-shell tabby. The museum also includes a memorial garden designed by Walter Hood, the project’s landscape architect and art director. The garden aims to celebrate the arts, crafts and labours of African Americans. In 2017, the project was estimated to cost $75 million; however, by June 2023, the budget was reported to be closer to $120 million. Work on the ambitious project entered its final stages in late 2022, but the opening was delayed due to climate control issues. The museum was initially expected to open on 21 January 2023 and after several delays, opened to the public on 4 July 2023. (Updated 5 July 2023)

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International African American Museum


International African American Museum

113 Calhoun Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401

Malika N. Pryor
Chief Learning and Engagement Officer
+1 843 872 5352

Marco Corona
Chief Development Officer
+1 843 872 5352

James Bartlett
Interim Chief Curator
+1 843 872 5352

John Anderson
Vice President of Administration and Chief Operating Officer
+1 843 872 5352

Tonya Matthews
Chief Executive Officer
+1 843 872 5352

Hood Design Studio

3016 Filbert St # 2
Oakland, California 94608

+1 510 595 0688
Walter Hood
Creative Director


4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 202
North Charleston, South Carolina 29405

+1 843 973 8660
Dale Collier
President and CEO

Moody Nolan

One Atlantic Center
1201 W Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30309

+1 470 480 7590
Linda Nunnelly
Senior Associate/Regional Director Atlanta

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

88 Pine Street
New York, New York 10005 USA

+1 212 751 3122

Turner Construction Company

4601 Park Road, Suite 601
Charlotte, NC 28209

+1 704 554 1001
Mark Dent
Vice President & General Manager

Ralph Appelbaum Associates (USA)

88 Pine Street
New York, New York 10005

+1 212 334 8200