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Birmingham Museum

Birmingham Museum Tour from Bloomfield Township on Vimeo.

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.

2018 Bicentennial Time Capsule Project with theme, "Message to the Future" Open to all Birmingham Students-Closes December 31! 
Time Capsule v2To conclude its year-long celebration of Birmingham's 200th anniversary, the Birmingham Museum will be launching a special commemorative bicentennial time capsule, to be presented to the City at the annual Tree Lighting and Winter Markt kickoff November 30, 2018. In keeping with the museum's mission to preserve Birmingham’s ongoing story, the contents of the time capsule will include contributions from area students with the theme, “Message to the Future;” and since the planned opening will be Birmingham’s 250th anniversary, today’s young students can return for the capsule opening in 2068. 

As with most time capsules, the idea is to capture a “snapshot” of the present that will give people in the future a unique perspective on what life is like in 2018, and what is on the minds of young people. The idea is for each student to consider what they want to say, and how they want to say it, whether it is a poem, an essay, a photo, a song lyric, or any other creative contribution that means something special to them and that they want to preserve for future access. The student must submit the contribution in electronic format (such as .pdf or .mp3) no larger than 10 MB. The museum will compile contributions onto a hard drive that will be placed in an airtight archival time capsule with additional documents and instructions. The capsule will be buried in Shain Park with an engraved granite marker identifying the location and opening date of December 1, 2068. Teachers, family members, and friends are encouraged to get in on the project to help students craft their message. 

Belle Curtis diary 1869To participate, the museum suggests students consider how to answer the question, “What do you want to say to/show people in 2068?” There will be no judging; every student is welcome to send a contribution.  Examples are:

    • A digital photograph (scene, people, activity, etc.) or series of photos
    • A hand-made drawing or graphic design, scanned 
    • A hand-written or typed poem, essay, short story with or without an image 
    • A brief audio or video recording (10 MB limit)

Rules:

    1. Students must identify themselves with their submission-school, first name, age, and class/grade.
    2. Submission deadline: December 31, 2018.
    3. Material must be in electronic form, no larger than 10 MB per submission, and file name must have student’s school, first name, age, and grade/class in the format: Schoolname_Firstname_age_grade­, (e.g., Beverly_Taylor_7_Grade2 or Groves_Ashton_15_Grade10).
    4. Submit electronically via email to: Leslie Pielack, Museum Director, lpielack@bhamgov.org. Sorry, files over 10 MB cannot be accepted.


New Expanded Hours with "Second Thursdays" 
In addition to our regular schedule of Tuesday 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.


Our Story
Allen House-2018The Birmingham  Museum was established in May 2001 at the former Marion and Harry Allen House and surrounding four acres. It includes the oldest house in Oakland County, the 1822 John West Hunter House as well as the 1928 Allen House. These historic structures are linked by a public plaza, the gateway to the grounds, which were dedicated in 2007 as the John West Hunter Historic Park. The landscape includes some of the most complex and diverse topography, including a spring fed pond and connection to the Rouge River corridor, all just a short walk from downtown Birmingham.  The Allen House features changing exhibits about Birmingham and its heritage, while the Hunter House (also listed on the National Register of Historic Places) reflects 19th century pioneer life in the settlement. Watch a brief promotional video produced by Birmingham Bloomfield Cable Television.  

2018 School TourThe museum works in partnership with other community organizations, such as the Friends of the Birmingham Museum (also known as the Birmingham Historical Society) and the Baldwin Public Library.  Together, we provide public tours, entertaining lectures, and special events, such as our popular adult lecture series and children's storytime in the historic Hunter House.  

Twice a year, the Friends host guided tours of historic Greenwood Cemetery, and also provide self-guided tours for visitors all year round. They also assist with lectures and historic research, a specialized service are also available at the museum.
 

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 museum@bhamgov.org.

 Museum Receives Michigan Museums Association 2018 Annual Award for Community Engagement

MMA Award MMA Award-Group PhotoFor the second time in recent years, the Birmingham Museum was the recipient of an award for excellence from the Michigan Museums Association, which represents hundreds of museums large and small all over our state. In 2018, MMA introduced a new Outreach Award to recognize a museum for excellence and leadership in the museum community in the area of public engagement. To be considered, the project or program needed to be unique, innovative, and community-driven, as was demonstrated by our year-long bicentennial exhibit, "The People of Birmingham: 200 Years of Stories."

Museum Award In 2014, the Birmingham Museum was also recipient of an MMA award in the category of "Best New Experience," which recognized a museum's innovative way of enriching visitor experience and forming meaningful connections between people and culture. “Afternoon Backstage with Chad Smith” 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 was featured as part of the Sounds of Birmingham music exhibition.  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. 

Updated 2017-2020 Strategic Plan
In 2013, the museum adopted a three-year 2013-2016 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 updated the plan for the next three year period. The revised 2017-2020 Birmingham Museum Strategic Plan was approved by the Birmingham City Commission and is now available to view.

Master Landscape Plan for Historic Museum Site Now Complete
wifi006In accordance with its strategic plan, the Museum Board has been working for some time to evaluate and develop a conceptual Master Landscape Plan that would provide guidance for future planning of the nearly four acres of grounds around the museum. In addition to identifying and preserving the natural and historic resources of the landscape, providing enhanced barrier free public access and interpretive opportunities are key provisions of the final 2018 Birmingham Museum Master Landscape Plan.

Hours and Admission  

Hours: The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 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.

Admission: 

Adults: $7.00 
Seniors (65+): $5.00 
Students (5-18): $5.00 
Children under 5 are FREE.
Friends (Birmingham Historical Society) Members: FREE