The Motown Historical Museum is a popular, must-see tourist destination in Detroit. Detroit is widely-known as the home of Motown, and the museum pays homage to this legacy, the music’s impact on popular culture, and the numerous, integral musicians who contributed to this cultural phenomenon.
The museum, located on 2648 West Grand Blvd. in Detroit’s historic cultural center neighborhood, occupies the building that was once “Hitsville USA” – Motown Records’ headquarters, administrative building, and recording studio from 1959 to 1972. In 1972, the Motown Records company moved from Detroit to Los Angeles. Many fans believe that the move from Detroit to LA negatively affected the company, and that it signified the end of a golden age of creativity that it had experienced in Detroit. In 1985, the Hitsville USA building became the Motown Historical Museum.
Today, the museum has exhibits featuring photos, costumes, records, artwork and other important memorabilia from the Motown era. These exhibits trace the roots of Motown and underscores its impact on music and popular culture in the 20th century. One of the museum’s highlights include the Empire on West Grand Boulevard exhibit. With models of the Hitsville, USA house, the subsequent houses, and the eventual high rise in downtown Detroit, that the record company acquired, this display portrays the quick growth and success of Motown records from the 1960s to the 1970s.
Visitors also enjoy learning about the phenomenal Motown musicians at the Motown Historical Museum. Exhibits highlight the success and contributions of artists including Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Jackson Five, and Diana Ross & The Supremes. Among other items, Michael Jackson’s famous glove from Billy Jean is on display, as are some outfits from the Supremes.
The museum offers guided tours and is closed Sunday and Monday. There is also a gift shop with items such as T-shirts, CDs, and postcards.
[image: Dig Downtown Detroit]