The Motown Museum just got a big boost to its expansion efforts thanks to the individual to most responsible for the sound it documents.
Berry Gordy, founder of the Motown record label, has donated $4 million to the expansion, making it the single largest individual donation to the project.
“There would be no Motown legacy, Motown Sound, or Motown Museum without Berry Gordy. He has given the world a soundtrack to live by; Detroit a legacy of pride; and our youth an example of entrepreneurial and creative excellence,” Motown Museum Chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry said in a release. “Now with this transformative and generous gift to the expansion campaign, Berry Gordy advances our vision of making the expanded museum a world class entertainment and educational destination that will ensure the inspiration of Motown lives on for generations to come.”
Gordy famously borrowed $800 from his family in the late 1950s and parlayed it into a multi-million dollar record company that produced dozens of hit singles.
The expansion of the Motown Museum—which is located in the home on West Grand Boulevard where many of the most famous Motown records were recorded—was announced in 2016. Plans call for a 50,000 square feet complex centered around the original “Hitsville” house and will include additional exhibits, a theater, retail space, and more.
Since the announcement, the museum has been undertaking smaller placemaking efforts and fundraising for the project, which is expected to cost around $50 million. As of late last year, the museum had raised $16.5 million.