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Motown Museum breaks ground on $50 million expansion

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It’s also halfway to its total funding goal

10 people with shovels and hardhats stand over a mount of dirt with letters reading “Motown Museum” on top.
Stakeholders break ground on the Motown Museum expansion on September 22. From left to right: Jimmy Settles, Jim Vella, Elesha Bridgers, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Berry Gordy, Robin Terry, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Ethan Davidson, Faye Nelson.
Motown Museum

The Motown Museum expansion has officially started.

At a September 22 celebration of Motown Records’s 60th anniversary, the Motown Museum both broke ground on its major expansion and announced that it’s gotten halfway to its total funding goal of $50 million.

The celebration attracted a wide range of people politicians, celebrities, funders, and people associated with the museum. Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Motown Museum chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry, as well as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, and Rev. Jesse Jackson were all in attendance.

“This is the moment the world has been waiting for,” Terry said. “I couldn’t be more delighted to stand with all of our supporters who have made this possible.”

Patrons gather outside as a children’s band plays music on an outdoor stage in front of a glass atrium and two brick homes.
Rendering of the glass atrium and remodeled homes as part of the first phase of construction.
Courtesy Motown Museum

Sunday’s event marks the beginning of the first of four phases of construction on the 50,000 square foot campus that’s now called Hitsville Next. The Detroit Free Press reports that the museum is remodeling three houses to the east of Hitsville U.S.A., the museum and home where Berry Gordy launched his music empire, as well as a glass atrium connecting the buildings.

It’s slated for a summer 2020 completion.

Once opened, it will allow the museum to offer more educational opportunities, including as Entrepreneur in Residence program designed to match youth with mentors in the music industry.

These offerings are in line with a new direction for Motown. The institution might even drop “museum” from its name, according to the Free Press, and rebrand itself as an “artistic and entrepreneurial hub.”

The expansion was first announced in 2016 and the museum has spent the last three years fundraising. It’s gotten support from a number of foundations, and most recently, Berry Gordy himself donated $4 million.

Motown Museum

2648 West Grand Boulevard, , MI 48208 (313) 875-2264 Visit Website