The feature of the main museum building is the exhibit hall which was named after Thomas D. Shaffner, a 1957 alumnus of Michigan Tech. Shaffner's generous donation was instrumental in establishing a permanent home for the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum on Michigan Tech’s south campus. At the dedication in 2011, the past Curator Dr. George Robinson called the new museum building “a giant leap forward” while Museum Executive Director Dr. Ted Bornhorst called it “a new beginning.” The 1404 E. Sharon Avenue location provides easily accessible public access with convenient parking.
In addition to the Thomas D. Shaffner Exhibit Hall, the main museum building houses a collection management area, a mineral conservation laboratory, and museum staff offices. Unexpectantly, the building was construced on top of a past producing native copper mine, the Mabbs Vein. Read about the history of the Mabbs Vein and its connection to the museum.
Modern society depends on minerals and the products made from them. With the assistance of Chrysler, a new permanent exhibit was installed that educates visitors about the diversity of minerals used in the production of automobiles. The exhibit includes mineral specimens to augment text that illustrates the importance of minerals to anyone who drives a car!