Detroit Plans For Motown Museum

Developers have submitted to the city of Detroit plans for a $28 million Motown music museum. Dubbed Motown Center, the museum would offer interactive exhibits, programs, and performances. It also wou

Developers have submitted to the city of Detroit plans for a $28 million Motown music museum. Dubbed Motown Center, the museum would offer interactive exhibits, programs, and performances. It also would realize the city's dream of a larger attraction honoring the likes of Motown Records Corp. founder Berry Gordy Jr. and such acts as the Temptations and the Supremes.

According to the plan, a nonprofit corporation would open and operate Motown Center by renovating the former Motown Records headquarters or by demolishing the buildings and constructing the museum.

The museum's design and construction would take more than two years. Few details were available, but the plan says it would include broad landscaped sidewalks, parklike settings, an entry plaza, and street-level parking. The site is close to the Fox and State theaters, Comerica Park, and Ford Field. It would add another attraction to the city's growing entertainment district.

Half of the project's cost would be financed by contributions from Gordy and Vivendi Universal SA, which acquired Seagram Ltd. and the Motown label last year in a $30 billion deal, as well as private donors and $2.55 million from the city's Economic Development Corp., according to the Aug. 3 project plan. The other half would be financed with an institutional mortgage.

"It's exciting," Motown Center project manager Tanya Heidelberg-Yopp told the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday. "We've got the support of key backers, and we are in the early stages." No money has yet been raised.

Gordy closed the Motown headquarters -- known as Motown Center -- when he moved the record label to Los Angeles in 1972.


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