Monday, March 8, 2010

Visiting the historic Skillman branch library in Detroit

Smack dab in the heart of downtown Detroit, just a block from the city’s Campus Martius center, hides the beautiful downtown branch of the Detroit Public Library system. The Rose & Robert Skillman library, tucked behind Compuware’s towering office building, is as much a museum as it is a library. In fact, much of the upper level of the building is used as museum space, and is currently displaying a tribute to the automotive heritage of the region, which complements the library's National Automotive History Collection.

The pie-shaped building itself is another of Detroit’s architectural treasures, and a curve in The People Mover track across the street adds to it by paralleling the building's rounded front. The library first opened in 1872 as the Centre Park Library; the current main branch on Woodward out near Wayne State was added in 1921. If you're interested in checking it out, the Skillman library is located at Gratiot and Library. The easiest way to get there if you’re visiting downtown is to take The People Mover and get off at the Cadillac Center station.