Experience Art, Music and Culture at the Renovated Detroit Historical Museum

The Detroit Historical Museum, located in midtown Detroit’s cultural center, re-opened last week after a six-month renovation period with a Grand Re-Opening celebration that lasted for 55.5 hours straight. Regular hours commence today, November 27, with free admission for guests continuing!

In celebration, Nova Zorok, public relations and marketing coordinator at the Detroit Historical Society, fills us in on what to expect at the Museum this year. Visit detroithistorical.org for more information.

In May 2012, the Detroit Historical Museum closed for a six-month, $12 million renovation. It marks the most extensive renovation the Museum has received since the 1960s. Starting last Friday, November 23 at 9:30 a.m., the Museum hosted its free Grand Re-Opening weekend, opening its doors for 55.5 straight hours.

Five new, permanent exhibitions have been installed, joining enhanced versions of signature attractions such as the Streets of Old Detroit, America’s Motor City, and Frontiers to Factories: Detroiters at Work, 1701-1901. The Allesee Gallery of Culture allows the visitor to explore the people, places and things that are “distinctly Detroit,” with artifacts from four eras in history being displayed in chronological progression. Look for one of the original Tiger Stadium neon signs! Detroit: The Arsenal of Democracy showcases our region’s role in creating the mighty arsenal that changed the outcome of World War II, with an interactive station and personal stories of the war from Detroiters. Doorway to Freedom – Detroit and the Underground Railroad enables the visitor’s discovery of the city’s fundamental role in the epic story of the Underground Railroad. The Gallery of Innovation allows visitors to find inspiration in the struggles, contributions and successes of Detroit’s innovators, incorporating the use of an innovation station where children can create virtual soft drink flavors and car prototypes on a budget.

A generous donation made by Kid Rock allowed for the installation of the Kid Rock Music Lab, where more than 100 years of Detroit music is experienced in an interactive gallery. Lastly, Legends Plaza, an outdoor exhibit, celebrates Detroit’s rich cultural heritage with the display of the handprints of the city’s cultural icons. The signatures and handprints of such legends as Alice Cooper, Gordie Howe, Lily Tomlin and Barry Sanders can all be viewed in this ongoing plaza exhibit.

The Community and Booth-Wilkinson galleries will feature rotating exhibits highlighting Detroit neighborhoods and community groups and other limited-engagement exhibits. Opening in the Booth-Wilkinson Gallery on November 23 is Riding the Rails: How Rail Transportation Helped Build Detroit, which discusses Detroit’s early reliance on mass transportation, the introduction of the automobile in the 20th century and new initiatives to lessen dependence on the automobile in the 21st century. The Power of Hope, a tribute to the history of Focus: HOPE, a nationally recognized civil and human rights organization founded in 1968 after the Detroit riots, opens in the Community Gallery.

Don’t miss out on these exciting new features at the museum!

Nova Zorok graduated from Wayne State University and is the public relations and marketing coordinator at the Detroit Historical Society. She is originally from Arkansas and studied at the Boston Ballet on scholarship. She has been dancing since she was three and continues to take class at Ballet Americana in Taylor. She loves local music and lives in the historic neighborhood of Woodbridge in Detroit with her boyfriend.

Will you be making a visit to the Detroit Historical Museum this year? Share with us below!