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The Wedding Dance Pieter Bruegel the Elder
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The Wedding Dance (30.374) — Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Renovation and Expansion Fact Sheet

The Detroit Institute of Arts underwent a major renovation, including a complete reinstallation of the galleries to provide visitors with a more comprehensive and engaging experience of the museum's exceptional collections. Anchored by its 1927 Beaux Arts building designed by Paul Cret, the DIA last made major structural changes in the late 1960s, when the museum's North and South Wings were added.


5200 Woodward Avenue, in the heart of Midtown Detroit


April 30, 2001

Primary Designers

Michael Graves, Michael Graves & Associates, Princeton, NJ

Architect of Record

The SmithGroup

Building Contractors

Walbridge / Jenkins

Sq. Ft. Prior to Project

Approximately 600,000

Total Additional Sq. Ft.

57,650 total:

South Wing Addition
North Court new flooring
Spine Areas
Prentis Court balconies
Additional Gallery Space

31,682 sq. ft.

Project Cost

$158.2 million total:

Original construction cost
$91.0 million
Asbestos abatement, gallery demolition, reconstruction, scope of project changes
$55.8 million
Reinstallation of galleries
$11.4 million
Major New Features

Major physical changes to the building include:

  • 31,383 sq. ft. addition with three stories and a full basement
  • Improved visitor amenities
  • New façade on the North and South Wings
  • Renovation of the Farnsworth Street Lobby
  • Conversion of the north court into new gallery space
  • North-south corridor of galleries at the center of the building that make it easier for visitors to navigate the museum.
  • Loggia for the Detroit Film Theatre
Education Center

The Wayne & Joan Webber Education Wing consists of the following:

  • The Walter Gibbs Leaning Center – The Gibbs Center features the Walter Gibbs Gallery, which hosts temporary exhibitions, the Holley Room, a large classroom lecture facility, and a smaller seminar room.
  • The wing also features two art studios with kiln facilities and offices for the studio staff.

The new CaféDIA opened in Dec. 2003 and features dining space for 250. The menu ranges from an extensive salad bar to gourmet sandwiches, soups, hot entrees, and more. The flexible space can be divided into three separate areas for private meetings/functions, or used as a single large event space. The Café also includes a new kitchen on the basement and first floor levels.

Museum Shop

The new Museum Shop is larger than the previous store, with significantly more frontage in the Farnsworth Street Lobby.

Collections and Programming

Founded in 1885, the DIA is one of the foremost art museums in the United States and a leading cultural resource for the city and the region. The DIA is home to more than 60,000 works of art, which comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from prehistory through the 21st century. From the first van Gogh to enter a U.S. museum (Self Portrait, 1887) to Diego Rivera's celebrated Detroit Industry murals, the DIA's collection reveals the scope and depth of human experience, imagination and emotion. The building project enables the DIA to exhibit more of its collection and offer new programming that connects the community to the museum's exceptional resources.