A Hidden Art-Gem in Detroit

One of Detroit’s most valuable treasures is often overlooked by people visiting the city. I almost overlooked that place on my visit to Detroit a while back. For some reason, I stumbled upon this place and now I want to share it with you. So what is that magical place?

It is the Detroit Public Library!

This is not so much about the books you find inside. It’s more about the architecture and the art hidden within. It’s basically an art museum with free admission.

The early Italian Renaissance-style building of the Detroit Public Library was dedicated in 1921 and was designed by Gilbert Cass.

Many people don’t know how much art hides inside. Look around you when you visit and open your eyes. You can see huge murals, impressive ceilings, and many other art pieces.

My favorite spot was the Adam Strohm Hall and the Grand Staircase. Just two impressive places full of art. I didn’t expect to see anything like this in a library.

Tour the library

To get more detailed information about all the art hidden in this building you can join one of the free walking tours. The one-hour docent-lead tour gives you all the detailed information about the art inside and outside of this building.
Unfortunately, I was unable to participate in one of the tours myself yet.

There are usually three tours per month. Two on a weekend and one during the week. Pre-Registration is required and is made through Eventbrite.

If you can’t make it during one of the available dates. Just tour the library during business hours at your own pace. Entrance is free. Opening hours and other scheduled events can be found on the library website.

Getting there

You can reach the library conveniently with the new QLine which opened a few weeks back and stops next to the library. During the weekend it shouldn’t be a problem to find street parking or a spot in a garage. There is also on-site library parking available accessible from Cass Ave.

After your visit to the library go and check out the Detroit Institute of Art.

Interesting Fact

The Detroit Public Library also doubles as a nuclear fallout shelter. There are actually quite a few in the vicinity. Check out this map.

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