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Inside Discover Portsmouth Center



It’s brand new and it’s 200 years old. The Discover Portsmouth Center occupies two buildings built around 1810, but will offer 21st century info and hospitality to a re-invented Portsmouth, NH. (see below)





Discover Portsmouth Center
Corner of Congress and Middle Streets
Portsmouth, NH
Managed by Portsmouth Historical Society 
Open 7 days a week 10am – 5pm, June – October


New Visitor Center Open in Portsmouth, NH

Ask anyone. Portsmouth, NH is now among the most interesting, historic and walkable small cities in the nation. The challenge, lately, is keeping up with all the cultural events going on. Art shows, lectures, festivals, historic sites, dance and theater, live music, literary readings abound. All the city needed was a single central place where visitors and locals can discover the full range of our cultural heritage. That’s why the Discover Portsmouth Center was created.

The perfect location became available when Portsmouth built a dynamic modern library, leaving the former library in the heart of the city. Trustees of the Portsmouth Historical Society, just across the street, rushed in to fill the void. City officials agreed and leased the building (three connected buildings, actually) to the society for three years. A few busy months later, the Discover Portsmouth Center is open in Phase One of what promises to be an extraordinary new facility. The DPC goal is simply to promote the history and culture of one of the nation’s original cities and New Hampshire’s only seaport.


Phase One includes new rugs and signs, a fresh coat of paint, a highly trained staff, a short introductory video, printed guides and books, and three exhibits. Informed volunteers offer free advice about what to see and do in the Port City. What was, for the last century, a library crowded with books is now a dramatic open air-conditioned space where people can relax, ask questions and learn about the City of the Open Door – founded in 1623 and still vibrant today.

The Discover Portsmouth Center is free to those who visit. But it is not free to those who want to make the DPC an essential and permanent part of the city. Simply opening the doors required a $50,000 effort. This does not include staffing, training, daily maintenance and expenses. All these expenses are currently supported by the nonprofit Portsmouth Historical Society. Keeping the DPC alive will require considerable funding from those who share the mission of its founders. The cost of redesigning and renovating the two 1810 brick buildings and the 1970s-era addition is being calculated now. The DPC has three years to prove its value to the City and to raise the funds needed to keep going and growing and promoting Portsmouth. The economic impact of this facility – in an age when culture and the arts draws visitors like a magnet – will be enormous.


The first thing you can do to help is visit the DPC. Walk around and see how beautiful the building is and how perfectly it fulfills its purpose. And bring your friends and everyone who visits you this summer and fall. The second thing you can do is join the society at whatever level of support you can afford. Volunteers are needed to staff and maintain the facility. And, of course, corporate and private benefactors are essential to the future of the city’s biggest and best information center ever.

Years ago in 2005, was the first to advocate for this richly needed visitor and exhibit center. Now we are backing the project 110%. We hope you will too. Volunteers can email Sandra Rux at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 436-8420 or 436-8433. Those who are already trained Granite State Ambassadors (GSA) can sign up through the GSA system. Others can contact Sandra directly. Visit the Portsmouth Historical Society web site to print the form for membership and contributions. Or visit the DPC or John Paul Jones House to pick up your membership form. And thanks.

OUTSIDE LINK: Portsmouth Historical Society web site 

READ MORE: About the DPC buildings 
READ MORE: About the need for DPC 




CONTINUE for Latest DPC Exhibit

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Thursday, February 22, 2018 
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