MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - A dedication at the childhood home of a beloved singer. Wednesday, Mayor Jim Strickland unveiled a plaque to mark the small wooden home soul singer Aretha Franklin grew up in.
Known as the "Queen of Soul," Franklin was born in the house in 1942. Her family moved away from Memphis two years later.
The decaying home has been vacant for years without being identified as a historical marker. Two residents explained why this house is important to them and to Memphis.
"I want to keep it standing, not only just for Aretha, I raised my kids in there, and I stayed there for years. I love the house,” says Vera Lee House.
"It's a great thing, it's a great thing to do that because it's a great landmark,” says Ricky Givan. “We do know that Aretha Franklin was born in this house. We all recognize that, over the years, but I'm just glad to see the City of Memphis doing something to make a landmark here for tourists to come through the city to see.”
Lawyers and community leaders have been trying to find ways to preserve the house, which sits empty with its windows boarded up.
The house was ordered to be demolished, but the order was put on hold last year after volunteers stabilized the crumbling structure.
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