Would you like to see the childhood home of boxing legend Muhammad Ali?
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the former heavyweight champion’s boyhood home will soon become a public touring location for fans to enjoy. The small residence is reportedly currently being renovated and restored with plans to open Muhammad’s former home to the public in May.
— Jim Gluckson (@BCRacingguy) March 21, 2016
According to the report, the western Louisville home — which has two bedrooms and one bathroom — has a grand opening scheduled for May 1.
Philadelphia attorney George Bochetto claims that stepping into Muhammad Ali’s childhood home is like “going back to 1955,” allowing visitors to “be in the middle of the Clay family home.” Bochetto reportedly owns Ali’s home along with Jared Weiss, a real estate investor in Las Vegas.
“We’re trying to demonstrate where it all began. How did Ali become Ali?”
Using old photographs of the residence’s interior and exterior, the development team worked hard to restore and re-create the home to look just like it did when Muhammad lived there. They even went as far as replacing the appliances, artwork and furnishings that were found inside of the home during that time of Ali’s life. In addition to the photographs, the development team was also assisted by Rahman Ali, Muhammad’s brother, throughout the reconstruction process.
If the grand opening happens according to plan, it would officially bring the nine-month reconstruction project to a close. Long before the development project began, Muhammad Ali’s childhood home was actually an abandoned building. The developers reportedly invested $300,000 into the overall renovation and restoration project.
That hefty price tag may seem a little excessive considering the relatively small size of the home itself. However, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that the six-figure amount also included the purchase of an additional residence right next door. That neighboring property has been turned into a gift shop and welcome center, which will undoubtedly generate even more revenue for the newly renovated tourism location.
Muhammad Ali lived in this particular home with his parents and brother until he left and headed to the 1960 Olympics, over 55 years ago. As soon as he stunned the world with his award-winning performance in the Olympics that year, his boxing career skyrocketed and Cassius Clay eventually becoming three-time heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali.
It apparently did not take very long for the Clay family to find a new home once their son become a professional boxer. After he signed a professional contract, Ali’s family moved away from the recently renovated residence.
45 years ago today Muhammad Ali versus Joe Frazier in the Fight of the Century.
Boxing every Tuesday and Thursday … pic.twitter.com/ASsPBcax9v
— Renzo Gracie Astoria (@RGAAstoria) March 8, 2016
According to the report, Muhammad Ali’s boyhood home will be available for tours Thursday through Sunday. Visitors can enjoy a general admission ticket for just $8. In addition to the tour, visitors will enjoy a 15-minute documentary film that focuses on Muhammad Ali’s childhood years as well as another video that focuses on Rahman Ali talking about his brother.
Fans looking to explore facets and highlights of Muhammad Ali’s boxing career, though, may be disappointed since that aspect of Muhammad Ali’s life has not been factored into the renovation. On the contrary, the renovation pays more attention to Muhammad’s “formative years,” according to Bochetto.
Muhammad Ali’s wife Lonnie issued an official statement about how her husband feels about the restoration of his childhood home.
“Muhammad is happy the house is being restored and he knows that if his parents were alive, it would make them happy, too. As time passes, even more people will want to visit the house. In 100 years, it will be a bigger attraction than ever, as Muhammad’s life and legacy continues to inspire people.”
It is not clear how much longer 74-year-old Muhammad Ali will continue to live. However, his recently renovated childhood home, along with all of the many other museum exhibits that focus on his life and career, will allow Muhammad’s legacy to live on for years and years to come.
[Photo by Kent Gavin/Getty Images]