Aretha Franklin: Her Birthplace In Jeopardy

Elvis Presley‘s birthplace in Tupelo is now a museum. His home as an adult, Graceland, is one of the most visited tourist spots in the country. But it’s a different story regarding Aretha Franklin.

Her birthplace, just a few miles from the Presley properties, is now threatened with demolition. No longer owned by the Franklin family, the building — with a partially collapsed roof — is in poor condition and has been labeled a “nuisance” by Shelby County, Tennessee authorities.

The current owner, Vera L. House, has since moved elsewhere. She tells USA Today, “I turned it over to the courts to try to find someone who would keep it standing, but they waited so long until the house is about to fall.” She believes the building could be saved.

A pair of non-profit organizations would like to buy the house, preserve it and possibly move it to another location — but there are questions about whether the structure is too far gone.

More from Jim Johnson
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