Back to the now demolished Motown Center Headquarters. I had these up long ago, but much controversy caused me to yank all the Motown data for awhile. well, Im puttin it back up now – including many of the documents that were rescued from the demolition. Today we are starting by revisiting the interior of the Donovan Building. (Donovan is on the left, Sanders in on the right. Both were combined for use by Motown in 1968)
Upstairs we see the hallways and elevator lobbies bordered with slabs of 1 inch thick marble. the demolition of the structure was so hasty, they did not even bother to recliam any of the marble slabs.
The first few floors had the tradmarked “Motown Blue” covering the windows, giving the interior an insane blue cast. I cant imagine working in a blue office all day. That must have really screwed up some peoples vision when they walked outside.
All major recordings still were held at Studio A, aka “The Snakepit” up on the Boulevard. Overdubs and orchestrations were done at studio B on Dexter. (now a shopping plaza)
There was remixing and rudimentary recording facilities at this location also. Marvin Gaye mixed his first version of “Whats Goin On” in this building, and then had tapes flown out to California to remix a second version which is what was released.
Isolation wall for recording
Heres the lightcourt between buildings
At one point in time, the graffiti guy “Turtle” had adorned the windows of Donovan with his moniker. Heres one of those windows with the telltale “T”.
Why so many important and interesting records of Motowns history were abandoned in this manner, we may never understand. This building was open for DECADES – so one could only imagine what walked out of here before the months leading up to demolition. This room was piled deep with fan letters and requests to come audition for Motown.
Stamped with a “received” and “answered” date.
This is the manner in which valuable, and in some instances priceless, documents were left in the building.
Junk mail addressed to Smokey and Berry.
Later this week I will put up some of the documents recovered from the demolition – many that I hadnt put up before. Stay tuned.