Motown Museum now closed until summer 2022

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Motown fans hoping to tour the Motown Museum this summer or fall will have to wait awhile. 

The beloved museum on West Grand Boulevard where Berry Gordy Jr. launched his music empire is closed until the summer of 2022 after museum officials moved up their timeline to shut down tours for the second phase of expansion plans.

Originally scheduled to close in September, museum officials said they decided to move up the closure date after heavy rain from last month's storms flooded the museum's basement and short-circuited the elevator.

The Motown Museum will be closed for tours until summer of 2022.

No memorabilia was damaged nor was the main museum, but Robin Terry, the museum's chairwoman and CEO, said contractors have told her it will take two to three months to fix the elevator. The elevator is located in the house next to Hitsville USA and is the only elevator the museum has.

"We can’t move forward without it (the elevator) and at this point, we’re being quoted two to three months to get it fixed," said Terry. "It's a bittersweet moment... (But) we would've had to stop our tours anyway."

The decision to close comes as the Motown Museum is getting ready to launch the second phase of a four-part, $50 million expansion plan. The first phase -- Hitsville Next, a larger space for museum programming -- is nearly complete.

The second phase of the expansion will involve constructing a new plaza that will stretch across the front of the new museum campus. It will include a pop-up performance space and front door of the expanded Motown Museum. The original Hitsville USA house, meanwhile, will also have some conservation completed.

Even with the museum now closed for tours, Terry said fans can still get pictures outside and extensive virtual programming is available including camps and competitions. A new "What's Still Going On" walking tour near the museum was unveiled last month. And a retail popup shop will re-open in early August.

"There’s a lot of activity," said Terry. "Our retail store is reopening outside. There’s lots that fans can still do."