The Memphis home where music icon Aretha Franklin was born may become the next overhaul project at the DIY Network, officials in charge of repairing the crumbling structure said Thursday.
Jeffrey Higgs, president of the LeMoyne-Owen College Community Development Corporation, told a judge he has been in discussions with a producer at the remodeling and home improvement cable network on a plan to fix up and move the house for one of its programs, reports Billboard.
Higgs hopes to move it to a safer location and make it more attractive for visitors. He told Shelby County Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter there’s no timetable for a plan, but he heard from the producer on Wednesday that the network was interested in moving forward. The network has been to Memphis to scout locations, Higgs said.
The boarded-up house is nestled in a devastated part of the Soulsville neighborhood amid abandoned homes and vacant lots. Crime is a big problem in the area. Potter had ordered the house demolished, but he put that order on hold after preservationists worked to stabilize the house last year.
The house, which has sat empty for years, has been placed in receivership, with Higgs as steward.
Higgs said the house needs a new roof and he’s looking for funds to help shore up the property. The DIY Network could help pay for the move, he said.
Franklin was born in the house in 1942. Her family moved to Detroit about two years later.
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