National Register Listing of Joe Frazier’s Gym Sets the Stage for Local Landmark Designation
Statements by Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Caroline E. Boyce, executive director of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia
Posted May 2, 2013 | Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-588-6141
(Washington) May 2, 2013 – News of the National Park Service listing of Joe Frazier’s Gym on the National Register of Historic Places marked an important milestone. Over the past 18 months, preservationists have been working to save the gym and breathe new life into this historic site. The following is a statement by Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation:
“The listing of Joe Frazier’s Gym on the National Register of Historic Places is cause for celebration and a fitting tribute to one of our greatest athletes of all time. For all who support preserving our country’s heritage and places that reflect both Philadelphia’s and our nation’s diverse history, this is indeed an important victory. With this designation, federal historic tax credits are made available to help secure its future.” The following is a statement by Caroline E. Boyce, executive director of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia:
“Joe Frazier’s Gym is an important historic and cultural site. We applaud this national designation, which was a collaboration between the Preservation Alliance, the National Trust, Heritage Consulting Group, and Temple University. Yet our work does not end here. Securing local protection for Joe Frazier’s Gym is critical. We have submitted a nomination to the Philadelphia Historical Commission for the gym’s listing on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. If approved in June 2013, this local designation will further protect this national treasure from demolition and adverse alteration.”
About Joe Frazier’s Gym
Inside this modest, three-story brick building, Joe Frazier — a gold medal winner at the 1964 Olympics and later Heavyweight Champion of the World — trained for his victorious bout against Muhammad Ali. Today, the converted warehouse where Smokin' Joe perfected his punch is home to a discount furniture store and two floors of vacant space. Despite growing interest in commemorating Frazier's life (he died in 2011), the gym, named one of the National Trust’s 11 Most Endangered Places in 2012, is unprotected; it currently enjoys no formal historic designation at the local level. The site is one of 32 National Treasures identified by the National Trust.
About Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia
The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia is a non-profit, membership organization whose mission is to promote the appreciation, protection and revitalization of the Philadelphiaregion’s historic buildings, communities and landscapes. www.PreservationAlliance.com
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.