Plans for Aretha Franklin’s birth home moving forward

Plans for Aretha Franklin’s birth home moving forward

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Plans for a potential museum and gift shop at Aretha Franklin’s birth home in Memphis are moving forward.

For years the City of Memphis wasn’t sure if the home on Lucy Ave could be saved.

“Just by the fact that no one is doing anything about it it was going to fall down or be a danger to the community. It went from that, to a situation where the court has authorized a non-profit to step in where they can stabilize it and preserve it for the future,” City of Memphis Attorney Steve Barlow aid.

On Tuesday, a stabilization project was presented in front of Shelby County Environmental Court Judge Patrick Dandridge.

Barlow also told Judge Dandridge the non-profit South Memphis Renewal has secured funding.

“At some point in the future, when someone has a great idea and the funds to back it up, it will be in the place where someone can take it from there,” Barlow said.

The owner of the home hopes that great idea will one day be a museum and gift shop for the Queen of Soul’s fans to visit.

Patricia Rogers has been working with the homeowner Vera House in the process to see that plan through.

“Tours are always going over there. Every single day tour buses are coming in and out of Lucy Street,” Rodgers said.

The stabilization plan will first focus on getting things like the roof patched up and improve the foundation - two things code enforcement has deemed inadequate.

A judge could approve a contract for the stabilization project as soon as August.

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