State of Michigan Library, Museum & Archives

The new Michigan Library and Historical Center provides a central presence on the State Capitol Mall for the State Library, Museum, and Archives. The project occupies two full city blocks, including the area required for parking. Its massing, materials, and organization are based on its relationship to the mall, and the master plan for the mall which specified building materials, colors, etc. The new Museum of Michigan occupies roughly half of the building.

The design intent was to create a light filled, open and welcoming feeling despite the very large size of the building and the bulk resulting from the height restriction of four stories. A central entry court provides access to atriums bringing light all the way down to the first floor of each area: Museum, Library and Historical Center. The museum occupies two floors and includes fixed and temporary exhibit space. Spaces are also provided for Special Collections, Closed Stacks, a small vault, Special Services such as Archival Work Areas, Media Production and Braille Reproduction, and office/work areas for staff.


Building Area

315,000 SF

Completion Date


* at William Kessler & Associates

Services Provided

Programing, Design, Construction Documents & Administration