According to Michael H. Hodges at the Detroit News, the Motown Museum is working on a proposal for a 50 million dollar expansion.
When I heard the news about the impending expansion and development, I headed down to get some photographs of the current configuration of buildings from the Motown era.
These are the two houses most people are familar with, Hitsville U.S.A. The blue and white house contains the historical Studio A where most of the Motown recordings were created. The red house on the right was used for publishing. Smokey Robinson worked here as a song writer, producer, performer – and when the day was done, he would stay and sweep up and clean. (check out the documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” and be sure to listen to the DVD commentary for great information)
From the rear of Hitsville we see what was originally the garage, which in older period houses in Detroit faced rear to the alley. It is this garage structure which houses Studio A. In the early days, it still had the garage door on it, and a dirt floor (!).
Here is the area behind the buildings across the alley. This is indicated as part of the museum development plans.
In the 1960’s Motown owned seven houses in a row here on West Grand Boulevard. The house just east of Histville was burned down during the 1967 riot. There were also properties across the Boulevard which were used for choreography and etiquette lessons.