1959 – Berry Gordy moves all of Motown’s operations into a two-story house

Berry Gordy-Hitsville

1959 – Berry Gordy moves all of Motown’s operations into a two-story house at 2648 West Grand Boulevard, which he christens “Hitsville.”

“Hitsville U.S.A.” is the nickname given to Motown Records’ first headquarters. Located at 2648 West Grand Blvd. in Detroit, Michigan Hitsville U.S.A., formerly a photographers’ studio, was purchased by Motown founder Berry Gordy in 1959, and converted into both the record label’s administrative building and recording studio, which was open 22 hours a day (closing from 8 to 10 AM for maintenance). Following mainstream success in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Gordy moved the label to Los Angeles and established the Hitsville West studio in Los Angeles, as a part of his main focus on film production.

Berry Gordy House, known as Motown Mansion in Detroit’s Boston-Edison Historic District.

In 1967, Berry Gordy purchased what is now known as Motown Mansion in Detroit’s Boston-Edison Historic District as his home.

Gordy located Motown Records company in Los Angeles in 1972. The original Hitsville studios, which had produced a long string of worldwide hits, is now the Motown Historical Museum. The following year, he reorganized the company into Motown Industries, an entertainment conglomerate that would include record, movie, television and publishing divisions. Many Motown fans believed the company’s heart and soul were lost following the move and that its golden age of creativity ended after its 13 years in Detroit. Because Berry Gordy’s sister Esther Gordy Edwards refused to move to California, she was put in charge of what was left of Motown’s Detroit office in the Hitsville building.
Motown Historical Museum

Edwards received several requests for the Hitsville building to receive visitors. She and her secretary put up posters and gold records. She also carefully preserved Studio A. Owned and operated by Esther Gordy Edwards, sister of Berry Gordy, the Motown Museum contains exhibits featuring costumes, photos, and records from Motown’s success era. Also featured are Motown’s “Studio A” and Berry Gordy’s upstairs apartment, decorated to appear as they did during the 1960s. The museum is one of Detroit’s most popular tourist destinations.

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