Philadelphia Historical Commission Grants Local Landmark Designation to Joe Frazier’s Gym

Statement by Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The Philadelphia Historical Commission’s decision today to list Joe Frazier’s Gym on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places grants critical protections to this landmark. 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 to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places reinforces the importance of the building’s place in the city’s past and future. The gym served not only as a training facility for Frazier and other boxers but also as a safe haven to help guide youth on a positive path in life. This local designation will help ensure that the gym won’t be demolished or experience changes to its façade. The new protections provide preservationists with necessary time to explore future uses for the building so that it may once again become a positive force in the community.”

 

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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. The gym was listed to the National Register of Historic Places in May 2013. The site is one of 34 National Treasures identified by the National Trust.

 

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.
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