84ºF

Aretha Franklin's birth home facing possible demolition

Aretha Franklin's birth home in Memphis, Tennessee is in danger of being demolished.

The Commercial Appeal reports that the Shelby County Environmental Court issued an order on Thursday to put the home into a city receivership with an order to "abate nuisance through demolition."

"Nobody wants to tear it down, but also it can't stay like it's been, without being secured or maintained, forever," said Steve Barlow, a staff attorney for the City of Memphis and a leader of the nonprofit Neighborhood Preservation, Inc.

Vera L. House is the current owner of the property, and said she would like to keep up the home, but cannot afford it.

"The taxes and everything are still in my name. I didn't know what to do about that. I can't afford to pay it. As far as I'm concerned, I'm through with it," said House, although she also noted that her son was currently living in it "to try to keep people from tearing it up worse."

Barlow stated that they are still open to finding a credible alternative to demolition, but unless they find a clear path, the city won't have much of a choice.

The "Queen of Soul" was born in Memphis, before relocating to Detroit at the age of 5. The 74-year-old, 18-time Grammy Award winning singer has sold over 75 million records worldwide.


About the Author: