In Danger, Joe Frazier’s Gym Draws National Attention

 

In a sign of the changing goals for historic preservation, officials of the National Trust for Historic Preservation will today announce that they’ve put Joe Frazier’s Gym at Broad Street and Glenwood Avenue in North Philadelphia on the organization’s high profile–and 25th annual–list of the 11 most endangered buildings in the US. The gym is where the Olympic and heavyweight champion Frazier, who died last year, trained for his epic bout against Muhammad Ali.

This past November, the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia placed the gym, which is partially used as a furniture showroom and is now for sale, on its 2011 endangered property list.

The National Trust’s announcement coincides with an effort by students at Temple University to submit a nomination for the building to the city’s register of historic places, giving it legal protection against major alterations and demolition. The National Trust says the building still needs to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places, a move that would also give owners of the building access to technical assistance and tax credits.

About the author

Hidden City co-editor Nathaniel Popkin’s latest book is the novel Lion and Leopard (The Head and The Hand Press). He is also the author of Song of the City (Four Walls Eight Windows/Basic Books) and The Possible City (Camino Books). He is senior writer and script editor of the Emmy-winning documentary series “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment” and the fiction review editor of Cleaver Magazine. Popkin's literary criticism appears in the Wall Street Journal, Public Books, The Kenyon Review, and The Millions. He is writer-in-residence of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.



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