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Motown Museum – July 2019 Update

Since our last post, the Motown Museum was left battling mother nature to finish our placemaking space project. Once all the permits had been acquired, and plans approved by the historic commission, we found ourselves in February and March of 2019 doing two things:

  1. Getting multiple quotes for concrete work.
  2. Waiting for the weather to reach at least 50 degrees so we could pour the foundation of the park.

Since we first started the project, quotes on concrete doubled in price, seriously affecting our budget.  We looked at alternative concepts such as wood decking and paving stones, but none were as attractive or as functional as concrete. Eventually we found a small, independent contractor who really wanted the job, and who would do it within our original budget. We hired them and waited for the weather to warm. In the meantime, our program staff continued to plan programming in our new park for the summer, so that we would be ready to engage the community when construction was completed.

After reaching temperatures that would allow us to lay concrete, the endless rains continued to delay the project as we needed at least five straight days of no rain to prep and pour the concrete. April finally presented us a small window of good weather during which we completed the foundation work and planting.

Within weeks, we painted the surface to fit the concept design, and ordered all our outdoor tables, chairs and umbrellas. We finished the space by installing a Motown “M” metal sculpture that anchors the park.

The concept for the space was created by Hamilton Anderson, a Detroit-based firm. Hamilton’s staff chipped in to help by assisting with landscaping work, painting and by building the community message chalk board that adorns the park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last, but not least, we installed party lights over the park, and a new sound system that allows us to play music all day and allow for artists to plug in and play during special events. We were ready to open the Dancing in the Street Park!

On Sunday, May 19, 2019, Motown Museum opened our new placemaking community space during its annual “Founder’s Day” event. The event featured live bands, food trucks, free tours of the Motown Museum, and community tables with art and music activities for kids, and Henry Ford Hospital performing health screenings for attendees. The event drew over 1,000 people who watched Robin Terry, Motown Museum’s Chairwoman and CEO officially open the park with Mayor Mike Duggan in attendance. The grand opening was kicked off with Motown legends, Martha Reeves and original Vandellas, Rosalind Ashford-Holmes and Annette Sterling-Helton performing the classic song the park was named after: “Dancing in the Street.”