The Automotive Hall of Fame will Soon Have A New Home
For the first time in its 75-year history, the Hall of Fame will call Detroit, Michigan homeby Kirby Garlitos, on
The Automotive Hall of Fame is finally headed to its roots as Hall of Fame President William Chapin has made it official, announcing that the visitor destination will move from its current location in Dearborn, Michigan near Ford’s headquarters to Detroit, Michigan where America’s automotive history began. The announcement was made at the end of the induction ceremony and is apparently being done to better reflect the city’s ties to the history of the industry in the U.S. and to help in the city’s own resurgence.
It is ironic that for a city that’s regarded as the birthplace of the U.S. auto industry, Detroit has never been the site of the Automotive Hall of Fame. The shrine to the automotive segment was first built in New York before moving to Washington D.C., Midland, Michigan, and now in its current location in Dearborn. According to Chapman, the decision to move the shrine is also being done to accommodate the massive overhaul Ford is embarking on as it pertains to its headquarters. Since the Hall of Fame is close to the Blue Oval’s facilities, any changes that Ford plans to make, including building a new research and development center, will have an effect on the Hall of Fame’s grounds.
So the decision has been made to move the Hall of Fame to Detroit where it should’ve been in the first place. Details on its exact location in the city have yet to be revealed, but there are reports that the museum’s big decision makers are looking into securing a space on Woodward avenue. The museum’s current location is approximately 25,000 square feet.
Details about the timetable are unsettled, but the Hall of Fame’s move will likely be completed by the end of the decade.
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Why it matters
Hard as it is to imagine considering that it’s been 75 years old, but yes, it’s true, the Automotive Hall of Fame has never been in Detroit, Michigan. I think it’s a good idea to finally put it where it belongs, not just because of the industry’s ties to the city of Detroit. That in itself is a given. But more importantly, it gives the city something to promote as it embarks on a goal to becoming one of the country’s best cities again. I know that part is far easier said than done, but it certainly helps having the Automotive Hall of Fame there as a legitimate tourist attraction for auto enthusiasts all over the world. It’s not Disneyland by any means, but it will nevertheless attract a lot of tourists to the city.
It gives the city something to promote as it embarks on a goal to becoming one of the country’s best cities again.
From the Hall of Fame’s point-of-view, moving to Detroit also serves it well because its previous location in Dearborn isn’t exactly what you’d call a tourist hub. Those who wanted to go there would really have to plan it out, and after visiting the museum, I don’t know if there’s anything that’ll get them to stay. It’s not a knock on Dearborn, but something as important as the Hall of Fame should be in place where a lot of people will go to.
Then there’s the Ford factor, which was something HoF president Chapin pointed out during the announcement. The Hall of Fame’s current location confuses a lot of people into thinking that it’s associated with Ford when it’s not. That perceived association creates a marketing problem for the museum, especially if it tries to have some partnerships with other automakers, especially General Motors and Chrysler. Moving it to Detroit removes a lot of the pre-conceived notions surrounding the Hall of Fame. Once it establishes itself in the Motor City, it can properly market itself considering the opportunities that will be presented having it in the Motor City.
The Automotive Hall of Fame in the Motor City has a far better ring to it than any of its previous locations.
Source: Detroit Free Press