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Cultural Center -- National Park Service Register of Historic Places (Michigan State Historic Preservation Office)Cultural Center





There is no better place than here to explore Detroit's intellectual and artistic influences. Development of the Cultural Center dates back to 1913 as part of the City Beautiful movement which advocated the clustering of important public buildings. Three buildings make up the core of the Cultural Center -- the Detroit Public Library, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Horace H. Rackham Education Memorial Building. Since the establishment of these architectural monuments, the Cultural Center has expanded to include a number of other museums, galleries, theatres, and attractions, most within walking distance of one another. In addition, the area is home to two highly regarded educational institutions, Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies. The Cultural Center's location two miles north of downtown along Woodward Avenue makes it a convenient, must-see destination for visitors.

Your best bet is to park your car and visit each attraction on foot. Parking is available at the public garage located at 41 Farnsworth (enter the facility between Woodward and John R). Free on-street parking and metered on-street parking are also available.



museum of african american historyCharles H. Wright Museum of African American History

315 East Warren, Detroit



Dr. Charles Wright, a Detroit obstetrician and gynecologist, established the City's first International Afro-American Musuem in 1965. Three decades and three addresses later, a new Museum of African American History was opened in the heart of the Cultural Center. The 120,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility is considered one of the largest Africal-American history museums in the world. The buidling house a core exhibition called And Still We Rise which takes visitors on a journey through 3.5 million years of courage, deterimination, ingenuity, and spriitual energy of African Americans as they pursued emancipation and full rights of citizenship. In addition to And Still We Rise, the museum showcases a number of other interesting, limited-run exhibitions.


moreDetroit Historical Museum

5401 Woodward Avenue, Detroit



Your exploration into Detroit's and southeastern Michigan's rich history begins at the Detroit Historical Museum. The museum traces the region through over 300 years of history through a number of creative displays. Of particular interest is the 8,000 square foot Motor City exhibition focused on Automotive Heritage and featuring an actual working auto body drop from the General Motors Clark Avenue facility.

diaDetroit Institute of Arts

5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit



The DIA has been a hallmark of Detroit culture since its founding in 1885. The museum covers over 600,000 square feet and houses one of the largest and most diverse collections of multicultural art in the United States, including the priceless Vincent van Gogh Self Portrait and the masterpiece sculpture Nail Figure from Zaire. To top it off, visitors are treated to Mexican artist Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry fresco cycle, considered Rivera's most important work in the U.S. Rivera painted 27 fresco panels, many of them modeled after the Ford Rouge Plant, on the walls of the large garden court inside the DIA.


Detroit Public Library -- Detroit Public LibraryDetroit Public Library

5201 Woodward Avenue, Detroit



The Detroit Public Library is the largest library system in the State of Michigan. The Main Library and its 23 neighborhood branches make it one of the most valuable and accessible public institutions in Metropolitan Detroit. The Public Library had been located in two other places before it moved into its current home in 1921. Its architect was Cass Gilbert, noted for the Minnesota State Capitol and the Woolworth Building, who wanted his building to "create an environment of scholarship and refinement." Gilbert designed the library in Italian Renaissance style, facing its exterior with white marble and having interior spaces decorated with murals, tiles and mosaics. In 1963 the library gained extra space with an austere rear addition.



Science Center -- wayneMichigan Science Center

5020 John R, Detroit



In the early 1970s, Detroit banker and philanthropist Dexter Ferry believed Detroit's youth lacked the same learning opportunities available in other major cities and led efforts to establish a major science center in the City. Construction on the original science center began in 1976 and a major renovation and expansion was completed in 2001. Today's Michigan Science Center encompasses over 110,000 square feet and offers Michigan's only IMAX Dome Theatre, a state-of-the-art digital planetarium, and multiple exhibit laboratories and learning environments. The Michigan Science Center is the perfect family venue that both educates and entertains.


Wayne State University Old Main Revised


Wayne State University

Vicinity of Cass Avenue and Putnam Street, Detroit



Wayne State University is Michigan's only urban research university, with 11 schools and colleges offering more than 350 major subject areas to 33,000 graduate and undergraduate students. The Wayne State campus encompasses 203 acres of beautifully landscaped walkways and gathering spots, linking 100 education and research buildings. Of particular note is the university's Department of Theatre which stakes claim to Detroit's oldest noncommercial theatre and operates three performance venues in the Cultural Center area. Each year the Bonstelle, Hillberry, and Studio Theatres play to the second largest audience in Michigan, behind only that of the Fisher Theatre.


More Information

For information on additional attractions located in or around the Cultural Center,

click on the links below:


College for Creative Studies

Detroit Children's Museum

Scarab Club

Great Estates (see The Whitney)

Detroit Theatres




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