The Detroit Historical Museum showcases several permanent exhibitions that highlight over three hundred years of the rich history of Detroit. It is also the only known museum that is dedicated to telling the history of the region. In 2012, five permanent new exhibitions made their debut: Detroit: The Arsenal of Democracy, Legends Plaza, the Kid Rock Music Lab, the Allesee Gallery of Culture, and the Gallery of Innovation.
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The America's Motor City exhibit at the Detroit Historical Museum highlights the fascinating tales of how the city built cars and how cars built the city. The exhibition also explains why the city of Detroit is known as Motor City. The museum's Frontiers to Factories: Detroiters at Work exhibition tells the story of the history of Detroit from 1701 to 1901 in an educational and exciting way. It includes the often-ignored tales of the city up to the 20th century.
Doorway to Freedom: Detroit and the Underground Railroadshowcases Detroit's pivotal role in the Underground Railroad, the network of people and safe houses that helped runaway slaves. The language of the railroads was adapted to keep it secret. Hiding places were called "stations," and were often barns, homes, and taverns. Helpers along the Underground Railroad were referred to as "conductors," and the runaway enslaved people were called "baggage" or "passengers."
The Detroit Historical Museum's Detroit: The "Arsenal of Democracy"exhibit tells how Detroit produced 30% of the war materials created in the United States before the end of World War II, answering President Franklin D. Roosevelt's call for America to become the "arsenal of democracy," when he intended to arm democratic nations against the threats of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. This new exhibit displays the ways that the city helped shape the war's outcome as well as how World War II changed Detroit.
The Legends Plaza is an outdoor display of memorialized handprints of some of Detroit's living legends. The rich heritage of Detroit lies with the people who have always called the city home as they went on to shape the cultural landscape of the country. The Detroit Historical Museum continues to add new handprints to the Legends Plaza. Located next to the Allesee Gallery of Culture, the Kid Rock Music Lab is an interactive exhibit space that allows visitors to explore Detroit's fascinating legacy of music, from Motown to Gospel and everything in between.
One of the most beloved exhibits at the Detroit Historical Museum is the Streets of Old Detroit. Located at the museum's lower level, visitors have the chance to step back in time to the city's past and discover the striking transformation from rural frontier to industrial giant in three periods of time: the 1840s, the 1870s, and the 1900s. The Gallery of Innovation showcases the process of innovation using tales of various innovators of Detroit, aiming to empower and inspire the problem solvers of tomorrow. The exhibition gallery highlights several of the city's numerous innovators, both unheralded and iconic.
5401 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202, Phone: 313-833-1805