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Three Detroit museums get upgrades

By Bil Bowen, courtesy Metro Detroit CVB

DETROIT — The Detroit Historical Museum will be closed from May 25 to Nov. 23 to complete major upgrades and improvements.

Changes will include three new permanent exhibits: the Gallery of Innovation, the Allesee Gallery of Culture and Detroit: The Arsenal of Democracy; An expanded Doorway to Freedom: Detroit and the Underground Railroad exhibit; and updates to the Streets of Old Detroit and Motor City exhibits.

In addition, the plaza outside of the Detroit Historical Museum will be transformed into Detroit Legends Plaza, an outdoor destination meant to honor Detroit’s stars of sports, entertainment and media, featuring handprints of Detroit legends from Gordie Howe to Martha Reeves.

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum will also receive 2,500 square feet of updated or new exhibits and will close from Dec. 10 through April 27, 2013. The major improvement will be a new core exhibit titled “Built by the River” to be located in the John A. and Marlene L. Boll Foundation Gallery.

Meanwhile, a two-year, $22 million construction project at the Cranbrook Art Museum in nearby Bloomfield Hills, which was completed in November, encompasses both a complete renovation of the museum’s landmark 1942 Eliel Saarinen-designed building and a new 20,000-square-foot Collections Wing.

The restored galleries feature a new state-of-the-art climate control system, while the new Collections Wing houses the museum’s permanent collection of nearly 6,000 works of art, architecture and design from the arts and crafts movement to the present.