Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibits Program

I found the discussion of Heritage Interpretation and the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street exhibits Program pretty fascinating, considering that it is “the first of its kind in the nation” (324). According to the program’s website ( the first exhibit was installed in 1999. This is pretty striking to me, considering that the basic premise of the program is fairly simple – interpretive signage with historic photographs of the sites. I think that making the signs transparent so you can project your view onto the actual sites is pretty amazing. I’d encourage everyone to check out the website. There is a great video on the main page that describes the program, and there is a gallery of the images used for the sites included in the program.

We have similar projects here in Boise, such as the Chinatown binoculars, and interpretive signs of this nature are more common today, and I can think of several places in Boise where interpretive displays like this could go. Nevertheless, I think that mobile tours and augmented reality are clearly picking up where projects like the one in Ann Arbor have left off.

One thought on “Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibits Program”

  1. I found the transparent signage amazing as well. I agree there are several places where interpretive signs like this could go in Boise. I think using this strategy to update or add to the Chinatown binoculars would be really great for the downtown area.

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