Located at 804 Old Fayetteville Street in Durham, North Carolina, the Hayti Heritage Center (HHC) first opened to the public in 1975. Near downtown in the historic Hayti community, the center is a celebrated cultural arts and arts education institution. It is situated in St. Joseph AME Church, which was built in 1891, and is managed and supported by the St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation (SJFH). The opportunity for the Hayti Heritage Center to operate in this beautifully-restored church arose when the St. Joseph AME Church relocated to their new building.
The departure of the congregation did not halt the immense regard they held for the building and they established the St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation. Incorporated in 1975, its purpose was to preserve yet modernize the building in order to be of greater cultural and civic use for the community. The mission of the SJHF, according to its website, is “preserving and advancing the heritage and culture of historic Hayti and the African American experience through programs that benefit the broader community locally, nationally and globally.”