By: Renee Grant
The house where Aretha Franklin spent her younger years is in disrepair, but thanks to a TV reality show, it could soon be restored.
The shotgun-style house in Memphis, located at 406 Lucy Street, was declared a public nuisance in 2012 because of its rotting floors and collapsing roof. Now, the DIY network has expressed interest in restoring the home and possibly moving it from its current location.
The Queen of Soul was born in the home on March 25, 1942.
Jeffrey Higgs, Executive Director of the LeMoyne-Owen College Community Development Corp. says, “We’d been talking to them about it for some time, but we had to keep quiet about it until we got something semi-definitive.” His group has championed the restoration of properties relevant to “the culture and music of the neighborhood,” which includes Franklin’s childhood house.
“If we can get this worked out, then they would pay for the renovation of the house — total — and the move if we decide to move it,” Higgs said after a hearing on Thursday related to the property’s preservation.
While saving the home would be a win for those looking to make sure it survives, the true goal is to find an organization to curate and maintain the space as a possible museum.
As Franklin has recently stated she’d like to retire after recording her final album, this may be a project she could lend her spare time to.