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The world's largest museum of African American history and culture, this impressive building opened in 1997 and is named after the local doctor and activist who first established it. With 120,000 square feet (11148 meters) of exhibit space, the Charles H. Wright Museum includes several exhibit galleries, a research library, classrooms and a museum store. The anchor exhibit, “Of the People: The African American Experience,” uses Detroit's own history to tell the story of the black experience in the United States. Previously, much smaller incarnations of the museum existed, dating back to 1965.
Kids and adults alike love the Michigan Science Center. The interactive exhibits are fun and will teach you about space, engineering, health and more. The IMAX Dome Theatre is a highlight of the museum, showing a wide variety of educational and entertaining films. Make sure you see an amazing laser display and star show at their Dassault Systèmes Planetarium.
View 60,000 amazing works of art at the Detroit Institute of the Arts. 100 galleries are filled with sculptures, paintings, and other artworks. The Thinker, the famous sculpture by Auguste Rodin is placed near the entrance. Permanent collections in the museum include Islamic, Flemish, pre-Columbian, European, African, Asian, and American art. Cultural events are held throughout the year at the auditorium and recital hall.
Ford's iconic Model T set a benchmark for automobiles at the time, and at the Piquette Avenue Plant, visitors get an insight into the fascinating history of car as well as its makers. Built in 1904, Piquette Avenue Plant was the company's second production plant. While numerous other vehicles including models F, N and R were also assembled here, it remains most popular for being the birthplace of the Model T. At the museum, visitors get to know how the car came into being, right from the concept stage. There's beautiful exhibits of vintage car models as well as engines of the time. Private tours are available.
On Belle Isle, two cannons from the Battle of Lake Erie mark the entrance to this marine branch of the Detroit Historical Museums. A visit affords a fascinating short course in Detroit's maritime history. Ship models on display range from 19th Century sailing vessels to modern hydroplane racing boats. You can also see yachts owned by automobile magnates from the 1920s and 1930s.
It is just befitting for the former headquarters of Motown Records Corporation to be a repository of this famous label. Motown Museum is an integral part of Detroit's cultural landscape and the country's musical legacy. Chronicling the most reputed African-American record labels in the nation where musical legends such as The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Temptations, Funk Brothers and Gladys Knight became stars, it is a true ode to music that inspired generations of music lovers.
Resting along the banks of Detroit River, Fort Wayne is the only remaining fort out of the many that once stood along the river. Fort Wayne is an 82-acre (33.18 hectares) site that includes the fort, barracks, a garrison, a huge parade ground, and a restored commander's house. Having aged spectacularly over decades and decades, the fort has been enlisted on to the National Register of Historic Places. Having played an integral role as an instruction camp during the course of the Civil War, this star-shaped fortification has braved many ravages of time, yet standing strong as an important landmark of Michigan. Whispering secrets of its storied past, this historic fort lends stirring insights into the country's long-standing maritime history. The premises are also home to the Tuskegee Airmen National Museum.
The Arab American National Museum, located just east of Detroit in Dearborn, is devoted to educating people about Arab American culture and history. Exhibits include Coming to America and Living in America as well as other exhibits designed to bring about awareness about Arab Americans' contributions to the culture, economy and society of the United States. The museum also focuses on immigration and shared experiences with other ethnic groups.
Located in Dearborn, the Henry Ford Museum showcases the fascinating history of American innovation. You'll find a 1909 Ford Model T on display, as well as the bus that Rosa Parks made a stand on in 1955. See a kitchen from the 1930s, a locomotive, and the chair in which Abraham Lincoln was sitting when he was assassinated. The range of items in the museum is wide, featuring interesting pieces relating to manufacturing, transportation, entertainment, and technology.
Founded in 1984, the Holocaust Memorial Center was the first institution in the United States to offer exhibits about the Nazi extermination of six million Jews in Europe during World War II. It's an eye-opening and breathtaking museum, offering a wide range of information and raising important questions about history. True to their slogan they are illuminating the past and enlightening the future.