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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 January 2006, 13:17 GMT
Empty Motown offices demolished
demolition of Motown Center
No recording took place in the 10-storey Motown Center
Abandoned Motown Records headquarters have been demolished in Detroit to make way for a Super Bowl car park.

Motown Center was home to offices at the height of the music firm's success in 1968, but it was abandoned in 1972.

"It was knocked down because it was sorely dilapidated," said Jamaine Dickens, a spokesman for the mayor.

Thousands are expected in Detroit for next month's Super Bowl football final. Nearby Motown studios were turned into Motown Historical Museum in 1985.

Documents remained

The demolition was part of the mayor's plan to remove "eyesores and symbols of a downtown abandoned" from the city, Mr Dickins said.

No recording took place in the 10-storey building but office furniture and documents remained inside.

Bystanders said documents blew onto the street as the building was demolished, including recording schedules for The Supremes and the Vandellas and business reports for Gladys Knight and the Pips.

Diana Ross
Diana Ross was among numerous successful Motown artists
Mr Dickins said it had been Motown Records' responsibility to clear the building of any documents it wanted to preserve.

Founded by Berry Gordy in 1959, Motown Records became the most successful private label in the US.

It published hits from soul and R&B artists such as Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, The Supremes, The Jackson Five, Lionel Richie, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and The Temptations.

The music firm abandoned Motown Center when it left Detroit for Los Angeles. It is now owned by Universal Music Group.

A plan to turn Motown Center into a museum proved unsuccessful after Motown's recording studio on West Grand Boulevard was transformed into Motown Historical Museum.

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