Mission Statement: The Birmingham Museum will explore meaningful connections with our past, in order to enrich our community and enhance its character and sustainability. Our mission is to promote understanding of Birmingham's historical and cultural legacy through preservation and interpretation of its ongoing story.
We're Now The Birmingham Museum!
After exploring opportunities for refreshing the museum's image and updating its message, the City of Birmingham, at the recommendation of the Museum Board, has changed our official name from The Birmingham Historical Museum & Park to The Birmingham Museum. Although shorter, the new name is at the same time more inclusive of Birmingham's cultural heritage, and the new name has a strong connection to the present and future as well as the past.
The Birmingham Museum (formerly Birmingham Historical Museum & Park) was established in May 2001 and includes the 1822 John West Hunter House and the 1928 Allen House. These historic structures are linked by a public plaza, the gateway to the four acre John West Hunter Historic Park, dedicated in September 2007. A short walk from downtown Birmingham, the museum is a must-see for out-of-town visitors and residents alike. The Allen House features changing exhibits about Birmingham and its heritage. The Hunter House reflects 19th century pioneer life in the settlement.
The museum works in partnership with other community organizations, such as the Friends of the Birmingham Museum (also known as the Birmingham Historical Society). Together, we provide public tours, entertaining lectures, and special events. Research services are also available at the museum.
In 2013, the museum adopted a three-year Strategic Plan to identify goals and related activities, and to help the museum achieve its operational and professional objectives. The plan received input from focus groups and from the general public, and has been very well received. During 2016, the Museum Board will be updating the plan for the 2017-2020 period.
Museum Receives Michigan Museums Association Quest for Excellence Award for "Best New Experience"
The award recognizes outstanding achievement by a Michigan museum for innovative ways to enrich visitor experience and the importance of museums in forming meaningful connections between people and culture.
The Birmingham Museum was selected for its recent success at the exhibition-related event, “Afternoon Backstage with Chad Smith,” which brought the local rock star and special guests together at his exhibit at the museum. Smith, Grammy-award winning drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, grew up in the area and is featured as part of the Sounds of Birmingham music exhibition. Attendees were able to meet Chad, share stories with him, and bring items to be autographed as special mementos of the occasion. The museum worked to keep the event personal and intimate for both guests and Smith, while raising needed funds. The reception brought the museum and its music exhibition to a whole new audience, and received rave reviews from both guests and Chad and his family. In particular, the musician was deeply touched when given the key to the city by Mayor Scott Moore, and later he and his family expressed their sincere thanks to the museum for giving them this wonderful opportunity. Other visitors described it as the experience of a lifetime.
A significant objective of the museum’s strategic plan is to engage with the community in new ways and reinforce the museum’s cultural relevance. By holding this event and keeping it meaningful and memorable for everyone involved, the Birmingham Historical Museum helped advance the notion that it is a dynamic place that has an active role to play in the community. The “Best New Experience” Quest for Excellence Award from MMA acknowledges this accomplishment, while also encouraging other museums to adopt similar creative strategies to enhance their visitors’ experience.
Hours and Admission
Hours: The museum is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. the second Thursday of the month. Appointments for research or special tours can be made outside those times in advance.
Seniors (65+): $5.00
Students (5-18): $5.00
Children under 5 are FREE.
Friends (Birmingham Historical Society) Members: FREE
New Expanded Hours with "Second Thursdays"
In addition to our regular schedule of Wednesday through Saturday, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., the museum will now be open until 8:00 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month! Check out our ongoing exhibits, enjoy our special programs, or make advance arrangements to use our research services. Regular admission pricing applies: adults, $7; seniors and students, $5; Friends members and children 5 and under, free.
Find Us on Facebook!
Check out the Birmingham Museum Facebook Page for more information & photos from events and exhibits.
School & Group Tours
School, community organizations and other group tours can be scheduled in advance. For more information, please contact the museum at 248.530.1928, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.