The first public art exhibit in Detroit was held at the Firemen’s Hall in February 1852.
The exhibit proceeds went to fund further construction of the Hall. The first floor of the Hall housed storefronts that were rented to businesses, which provided additional funds for the building and the Fire Department Association.
When the Hall was completed it served as a public auditorium for theaters, concerts and other public entertainment. It also contained a spacious reading room and established a considerable library.
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