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  1. #1

    Overnight Hotel Accommodations in Detroit during the Golden Era

    As many people point out, during the glory days of Motown, a lot of artists came to Detroit to record, etc. etc.

    Did Motown as a corporate entity have a block of rooms reserved at a local hotel for the use of their artists? Many major corporations these days have such an arrangement.

    Any knowledge of where all the visitors stayed while in the Motor City?

  2. #2
    I always thought the Pontchartrain Hotel was the "go to" venue in downtown Detroit for many of the Motown personnel. But I just looked it up and the research said it was demolished in 1920! It was rebuilt, maybe?

    I bet Marv2 has an answer to this one.
    Last edited by kenneth; 09-30-2019 at 07:26 PM.

  3. #3
    That is a good question. I recall Bobby Taylor mentioning he had an apartment in same building as Suzanne DePasse when he came to Detroit. The Jackson 5 stayed there at his apartment when they first arrived as well. Not sure about any hotels they used back then.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    I believe the Pontchartrain Hotel was the "go to" venue in downtown Detroit for many of the Motown personnel. I bet Marv2 has an answer to this one though.
    Kenneth, believe it or not, I was thinking of the Pontchitrain Hotel when I was writing my first response in this thread. So much has changed in Detroit. So many of the places there in the sixties are now gone.

  5. #5
    Northland would have been one of the places I am sure.

  6. #6
    @Marv2, and here I thought you knew everything! I'm devastated! LOL

  7. #7
    Another one would have been the Book Cadillac hotel on Washington in Detroit

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    @Marv2, and here I thought you knew everything! I'm devastated! LOL
    Don't even joke like that Kenneth! There are "some" around here just hoping I would forget something and post a "mistake" LOL!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Don't even joke like that Kenneth! There are "some" around here just hoping I would forget something and post a "mistake" LOL!!!!!!
    Yeah, and I'm one of them!

    Kidding aside, you do have a vast knowledge of all things Motown. And you have some serious archives of rare photos, too. A lot of fascinating stuff.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    Yeah, and I'm one of them!

    Kidding aside, you do have a vast knowledge of all things Motown. And you have some serious archives of rare photos, too. A lot of fascinating stuff.
    Kenneth we both share a lot of the same memories. I bet you could go up to almost any former or current Detroit of a certain age and they would be just as knowledgeable in reference to the subjects we discuss here.

  11. #11
    St Regis om West Grand Blvd was close proximity to Motown and General Motors... For those on a tight budget...there was always the 20 Grand Motel...

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    St Regis om West Grand Blvd was close proximity to Motown and General Motors... For those on a tight budget...there was always the 20 Grand Motel...
    Yes, the St. Regis is definitely a possibility. Thanks Stu.

  13. #13
    That was a Hilton right?

  14. #14
    Back in the early days of Motown, there was the Gotham hotel - people tell me it was near John R. and Mack, it was one of the few places were African-Americans could stay. Yes, the Ponchartrain hotel is still standing, but it has another name.

  15. #15
    The Ponchartrain hotel in Detroit, where I think Berry Gordy locked in the "Corporation" for the Supremes next single after "Reflections" and/or locked them in to write songs for the Jackson 5; it is now called the Crown Plaza Riverfront hotel, and from what I hear, it is now doing pretty good.

  16. #16
    The St. Regis became the hotel of choice once it opened. I picked up Jean Terrell there when she replaced Diana Ross, and took her to Motown.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by stingbeelee View Post
    The Ponchartrain hotel in Detroit, where I think Berry Gordy locked in the "Corporation" for the Supremes next single after "Reflections" and/or locked them in to write songs for the Jackson 5; it is now called the Crown Plaza Riverfront hotel, and from what I hear, it is now doing pretty good.
    That was for "Love Child" in 1968. In 1990 Ian Levine held his "Motor City Revue" on the rooftop there for 2 nights and several dozen early Motown artists performed their hits.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    The St. Regis became the hotel of choice once it opened. I picked up Jean Terrell there when she replaced Diana Ross, and took her to Motown.
    Amazing! So much history you've seen. Thank you Ralph!

  19. #19
    One of the proudest moments of my entire life was when I wrote to Motown in early 90’s saying it’s my first visit to Detroit, where can I stay nearby. Doris Holland wrote back recommending the St Regis and unbelievably said they’d pay the first night. You can imagine my face as I arrived saying Motown is paying! I still treasure the invoice.

    The letter (no, not email) said to announce myself on visiting Hitsville for a special treat. I was given a private tour by Paul Barker then later Mrs Esther Gordy-Edwards arrived in a limo just back from LA to say hello. I mentioned I’d searched years for In Loving Memory in England, she asked Paul to get one (I’ll never know where from). She explained the circumstances of its recording and was so proud her brother was writing his autobiography – I found it hard to believe we’d ever get such a book.

    I’m not home right now but seem to remember Raynoma Lyles-Gordy mentioning St Regis in her book so I assume Motown used the St Regis a lot. A real classy hotel in the 90’s with a very fine restaurant. A few years later it seemed to have gone down a lot.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    The St. Regis became the hotel of choice once it opened. I picked up Jean Terrell there when she replaced Diana Ross, and took her to Motown.
    Being a member here is worth it for little things like this Ralph.

  21. #21
    Fascinating memories and recollections guys. So fun to read.

  22. #22
    For those really on a budget, I would imagine The Algiers Motel was an option.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown4Ever518 View Post
    For those really on a budget, I would imagine The Algiers Motel was an option.
    The Algiers? I think it was one that was damaged in the '67 riots, but musicians that played the Fox stayed there back in the day.

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