Aimed at restoring and preserving two of the city’s most iconic buildings, WHALE and the New Bedford Port Society have joined forces to collaborate on the Port
Society Complex. The project’s comprehensive scope envisions a complete restoration of the historic 1832 Seamen’s Bethel and the adjacent 1787 Mariners Home. Both buildings grace Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city’s nationally recognized historic district. When the restoration project is complete, both buildings will be fully handicapped accessible and connected with an enclosed walkway.
Plans are to open the Mariners’ Home as a Fishermen’s Museum to tell the story of New Bedford’s development as the number one fishing port in the country and to honor the fishermen who lost their lives at sea. The 2nd and 3rd floor of the Mariners’ Home will contain non-profit office space.
The Bethel will house an educational room in the Saltbox for lectures and Children’s programming. The Chapel will remain a venue for weddings, funerals, memorials, and religious activities.