University of Michigan Museum of Natural History
Location Name: University of Michigan Museum of Natural History (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
Location Type: Museum (Natural History)
Year Completed: Building completed in 1928. Museum established in 1956.
Architect(s): Albert Kahn
The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History's history began when University of Michigan alumnus Joseph Beal Steele donated over 60,000 specimens to the University in the 1870s. Though much of this collection was on public display since that time, the museum was not officially established until 1956. Known then as the Exhibit Museum of Natural History, the museum found its home at the University Museums Building on the Central Campus.
The University Museums Building predates the museum by a few decades. Construction began in 1927 on the building designed by Albert Kahn for several university museums. The 128,976 square foot building was completed in the Spring of 1928 at a cost of $724,952. The building housed the museums of Anthropology, Zoology and Paleontology, as well as the University Herbarium. Upon its founding in 1956, the Exhibit Museum also moved into the building. Today the building is known as the Ruthven Museum Building; renamed for University of Michigan President Alexander G. Ruthven in December 1968.
In 2012 the Exhibit Museum became known as the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. With over 22,000 square feet of exhibit space, the museum features permanent exhibits on dinosaurs and other prehistoric life, Michigan wildlife, anthropology and geology. The annual attendance tops 100,000 visitors and there is no admission charge.Sources