'Motown Mansion' contents being sold in auction, estate sale

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Monday, September 4, 2017
A Detroit mansion once owned by Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. is shown in Detroit, Thursday, July 8, 2010.

DETROIT -- The public will be able to celebrate Detroit's musical history by taking part in an estate sale and live global auction of the contents of the "Motown Mansion."

The 10,500-square-foot (975-square-meter) house once owned by Motown Records' founder Berry Gordy Jr. will be cleared of its contents in early October, MLive reported .

Gordy lived in the house from 1967-1969, at the peak of his label's success with stars such as The Supremes, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder. He sold it to Cynthia Reaves in 2002, and Reaves sold the property in August, leaving her with a wealth of memorabilia to offload, including Gordy's Steinway piano, jewelry, photos of Gordy with Motown stars and original pressings of Motown singles.

"We want to have this amazing event," said Aaron Siepierski, owner of Aaron's Estate Sales of Birmingham.

More mundane things, including cookware, furniture and regular household items, will be up for grabs at the three-day estate sale and a live global auction event that could feature a visit from Motown stars. The dates for the sale will be finalized by the second week of September.

Siepierski said some of the personal property that came with the house belonged to Diana Ross.

"As we got into the items and history ... we thought, 'We can bring this to a worldwide marketplace,'" Siepierski said.

Reaves plans to have a nonprofit agency at the sale to charge a nominal admission. She said she wants the sale to feel like a neighborhood event that celebrates its connections to each home.

"There's going to be something for everybody," Siepierski said. "Things will be affordable through a full price range."