Walk the Streets of Old Detroit at this Interactive Museum

Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit, Michigan (Photo Credit: Wikipedia - Michael Barera)
Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit, Michigan | Photo Credit: Wikipedia - Michael Barera

Imagine what it was like in the bustling city of Detroit back during the roaring days of auto manufacturing. This Michigan metropolis has been known for its vital role in inspiring an industrial legacy that has changed transportation for not only America but also the world. The Detroit Historical Museum dives into this background and uncovers centuries of other relevant local history. Learn all about the famous people and landmarks who helped to make Detroit into, at one time, one of the wealthiest cities in the world!


Founded in 1928, the Detroit Historical Museum has welcomed visitors to explore the areas rich history. When Detroit attorney and devoted historian, Clarence M. Burton donated his extensive collections in 1914, it spurred the idea of founding a museum to preserve the local history through various notable artifacts and documents. Burton and some other locals soon established the Detroit Historical Society. The museum first opened in 1928 on the 23rd story of what is now Cadillac Tower and was dubbed “The Highest Museum in the World” 1.

In 1951, the museum moved to its present location with a ceremony attended by numerous notable Michigan residents including Governor Williams along with Detroit Mayor Cobo and many others. Over the years, the museum has only expanded its collection through various donations and acquisitions.

Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit, Michigan (Photo Credit: Wikipedia - Michael Barera)
Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit, Michigan | Photo Credit: Wikipedia – Michael Barera

Things to See

The Detroit Historical Museum is home to several permanent exhibitions that showcase the regions rich history. Including America’s Motor City that reveals the story of how Detroit became known for its automobile industry along with some of the first manufacturers and their creators. Other permanent exhibitions display the history of Detroit’s pivotal role in American history including its involvement in the Underground Railroad, World War II, and the Civil Rights movement. The Legends Plaza honors those who have made various achievements in various industries and movements.

Motor City Music is a lively exhibit that reveals the history of how Detroit grew to become known as “Motown” and the various hits that came from city ranging from Gospel to Rock and R&B. The early history of Detroit dating back to Native Americans and early settlers is displayed through dioramas and artifacts. One of the museums most iconic things to see is of course, the Streets of Old Detroit exhibit. This display provides a hands-on, interactive walk-through Detroit’s past as visitors can meander along shop fronts dating back to the early days of the city through the industrial revolution.

Travel exhibitions make their appearance at the museum on occasion and range from artwork to history and so much more. For the most current exhibitions, please be sure to visit the Detroit Historical Museums website.

Plan Your Visit

The Detroit Historical Museum is located at 5401 Woodward Avenue in midtown Detroit. There is an admission fee to the museum. For current hours and admission, please see the Detroit Historical Museum website.

If you enjoyed reading this post or have visited the Detroit Historical Museum before, leave a comment below or share this post on your favorite social media!

  1. Wikipedia – Detroit Historical Museum ↩︎


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