Motown Museum reveals next phase of expansion, a 40,000-square-foot addition with theater, retail space
Detroit — The Motown Museum, one of the city’s most iconic music attractions, is moving on with the next phase of its expansion, unveiling details on Wednesday for a new 40,000-square-foot addition.
The addition, which will feature a chic gold exterior, will have room for interactive exhibits, retail space and a theater to be called The Henry Ford theater. It'll be located behind the existing Hitsville USA home on West Grand Boulevard where Berry Gordy Jr. crafted the Motown sound more than 60 years ago.
The new building, part of an overall $55 million expansion and part of the third phase of the museum's expansion, will allow it to share the often untold stories of those who helped build the Motown legacy, said the museum’s chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry in a press release.
“After a successful event to welcome guests back to the museum and celebrate the completion of phases one and two of our expansion, we are thrilled to share the new renderings for our third and final expansion phase,” said Terry. “This new space will create jobs in our local community and drive additional tourism to Detroit and the state of Michigan as Motown fans from around the globe can interact with the Motown story through one-of-a-kind interactive experiences."
The phase-three expansion design is led by North Carolina-based firm Perkins & Will. Phase one and two of the expansion — Hitsville NEXT, in three historic Motown-era buildings on West Grand Boulevard and the Rocket Plaza — were designed by Detroit-based firm Hamilton Anderson & Associates.
The museum last month unveiled the first two completed phases of its expansion, a new outdoor courtyard and renovations to the houses around Hitsville USA, with a star-studded celebration. It included a host of Motown stars, including Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves and Duke Fakir, the sole surviving original member of Four Tops.
The museum has raised $43 million of what it needs for its $55 million expansion plans. The Detroit News first reported last week that $10 million in federal dollars was earmarked for the museum in a U.S. Senate spending bill that remains in committee. Lawmakers requested $343.5 million for Michigan projects in spending bills working their way through the congressional appropriations process.
Architect Zena Howard with Perkins & Will said the gold exterior of the new addition pays tribute to Motown's many accomplishments.
"It provides an elegant backdrop to Hitsville USA, complementing a story of Motown’s humble beginnings and its world shaping impact. This design is a way of telling the Motown story through architecture," she said.
Visit motownmuseum.org for more information.