Follow-up: Aretha Franklin Birthplace Saved….For Now

Author: Jim Johnson

Aretha Franklin‘s birthplace has been spared from the wrecking ball. And the musical icon is apparently willing to invest her own money in restoring it.

At a Thursday hearing in Memphis, Tennessee, a previous order for the house at 406 Lucy was put on hold by Judge Larry Potter while plans to repair move forward.

The Queen of Soul — whose family hasn’t owned the South Memphis property for decades — recently told local redevelopment agency official Jeffrey Higgs that’s she interested in being involved in the project. Higgs said Franklin called him personally on June 19th to convey her interest. This marks the first time, after several failed attempts, that Aretha has joined with advocates for preservation.

The next court hearing is set for August 11th. Judge Potter has asked for “a definitive time” and “substantive” economic proposals to save the house — plans that are “not just possible but probable.” If the house is restored, it would likely be moved from the residential neighborhood where it stands to a location near the city’s Stax Museum. (Memphis Commercial Appeal)


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