Aretha Franklin's Childhood Home in Memphis Could Become a Museum

Express Newspapers/Getty Images
Express Newspapers/Getty Images / Express Newspapers/Getty Images

Aretha Franklin may have spent most of her life in Detroit, but the Queen of Soul has roots in Memphis. As City Lab reports, Franklin's death on August 16 revived interest in preserving her South Memphis birth home—and possibly turning it into a museum similar to Graceland.

To pay respects to the legend, fans flocked to her childhood home, where the windows are boarded up and covered with messages like "Respect" and "Our natural woman." The house is also known as the place where Franklin's father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin, preached.

The wooden house—which has been uninhabited for years—is about 1100 sq. feet. It was slated for demolition in 2016—a story that mirrors the fate of Rosa Parks's home in Detroit, which was nearly destroyed but was ultimately saved by an artist and Parks's niece. That year, preservation organizations stepped in and offered to help preserve Franklin's home.

"We think we have found a way to not only honor Aretha but also her father, through the intersection of gospel and R&B music," Jeffrey Higgs, executive director of an organization that is working to preserve the home, tells City Lab.

He and other members of the community have big plans for turning the little home into a museum dedicated to Franklin, but they'll need permission from the singer's family before moving forward.

[h/t City Lab]