Construction has begun on major renovations that will bring $4.9 million in upgrades to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle. The Detroit Historical Society, which runs the museum, has raised $1.9 million of the necessary funds.
Many of those renovations concern improving the visitor experience by the addition of landscaping with seating, signage, and lighting, as well as upgrades to some of the museum exhibits. Bike racks and a cycle service station will also be installed.
Along the cove next to the museum, a kayak launch will be constructed, making the Detroit River accessible from the museum for the first time in its history.
The museum will also be adding a riverfront patio space in order to make it a more enticing rental location. Once completed, it will be the only location on the south side of the island with private water access for events. The museum, which will be open during construction, says it’s already booking weddings for 2020.
The renovations are expected to be completed in 2021.
The Dossin Great Lakes Museum opened in 1960 to showcase the region’s maritime history. According to the museum, attendance has doubled over the last five years, necessitating the upgrades. Entry is free with admission to the park.