Community Gallery: Southwest Detroit: More than a Place

The Robert and Mary Ann Bury Community Gallery is a changing exhibition space made available to local historical societies, museums, non-profit organizations and educational institutions, selected for their contributions to the metro Detroit community. Organizations are featured in order to share their stories and provide new perspectives on the issues, ideas and individuals that have shaped our region’s rich history.

It was officially renamed as a tribute to retiring long-time Executive Director Bob Bury on June 28, 2018 and will be dedicated in a ceremony on November 1, 2018.


NOW OPEN through January 6, 2020 in the Robert and Mary Ann Bury Community Gallery

Southwest Detroit: More Than a Place

Detroit is filled with many neighborhoods, but if you ask anyone from Southwest Detroit no other part of Detroit can compare. The diversity is rich, for this section of the city is indeed representative of the world. Many people think of Southwest Detroit as a predominantly Mexican community. Little do they know that this community includes and has included Spanish speakers from Texas, Spain and every single country of Central and South America and the Carribean. It also included Portuguese, Brazilians, Maltese, Cubans, Armenian, Lithuanian, Polish, German, Italian, Filipino, Laotian, Lebanese, Yemeni, Hungarian, Hungarian Gypsies, Russians and Native Americans/First Nations people as well as Southern blacks and the Alpalachian whites who migrated to Southwest Detroit and made it their home. All of these people contributed to the fabric of Southwest Detroit.

Southwest Detroit is and was filled with people who spoke different languages, went to different places of worship, including temples, mosques, churches and at least one synagogue. In Southwest Detroit, children played with everyone on narrow sidewalks, narrow streets and narrow alleys. The buildings and the areas are old but have much to say. Southwest Detroit has an international border with a bridge (soon to be two!) and a tunnel, historical sites and buildings that were ornate and beautiful, and factories that put the world on wheels and defended democracy, but polluted the ground.

This exhibition is a comprehensive and diverse showing of artifacts, images and stories covering historical and current developments, challenges, immigrant contributions and personal oral histories. It will give museum visitors insights into arts and culture, business and industry, faith groups, nonprofits, and distinct neighborhoods of Southwest Detroit.