Categories: News

Detroit’s Motown Museum Announces $50 Million Expansion


Artist rendering of the planned Motown Museum expansion, courtesy of the Motown Museum

The Motown Museum in Detroit is getting a $50 million expansion.

In a report from the Detroit Free Press the expansion was announced this past Monday, and will aim to transform the complex into “a world class tourist destination,” with a 50,000 square foot addition joining the existing museum.

Founded in 1985 and run by the Gordy family, the current museum holds just a fraction of the operation’s memorabilia collection, with the 10,000 square foot museum situated in two connected houses , and offering a tour that includes vintage ’60s furnishings and Motown’s original “Snakepit” studio.

However, the expanded museum will reportedly showcase exhibits from private collections, and will likely branch out beyond the historical Motown theme.

Berry Gordy Jr., the man who launched the careers of artists such as The Supremes, Temptations and Stevie Wonder through the famed Motown Records, offered his support of the expansion in a statement.

“When I look back on that magical time in Detroit, I’m reminded of how a company, based on love, fairness and competition, came together to create something special. It was about music and so much more,” he said. “It brings me real joy, and I am proud and humbled to know that the inclusive legacy of Motown, and the most talented people who are so near and dear to my heart, will have their stories told in this new museum.”

A time table for the expansion has not been set, but considering that plans to add on to the Motown Museum have been in discussion for the past several years, it’s nice to hear that the ball is finally rolling.

Planning has been overseen by the architectural firm Perkins + Will, which led the design of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture that recently opened this year.

The Motown Museum has an annual operating budget of about $2 million and draws about 70,000 visitors each year, many of them international tourists.

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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