Company plans to turn Muhammad Ali's boyhood home into museum - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Company plans to turn Muhammad Ali's boyhood home into museum

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- You've heard of extreme home makeovers, but this one could be called The Greatest. Work will soon begin to restore Muhammad Ali's boyhood home.

A historic marker was placed in front of Ali's home two years ago, and soon the landmark will become something the neighborhood and the city can truly call "The Greatest."

While Muhammad Ali was making history, the historic house where Ali grew up was not so pretty, falling victim to time and neglect. It's been vacant for two years since it was purchased by a Las Vegas realtor, but now it appears the home is about get off the mat.

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A company called Nineteenth Century Restorations plans to turn the home into a museum, restoring it to the way it looked in 1954 when then-Cassius Clay first put on the gloves.

"We've had a lot of help from the family with photographs. We'll furnish the house. It will be completely restored to that era, furnishings and all," said Dan Riedemann, founder of Nineteenth Century Restorations.

Lawrence Montgomery grew up next door to Ali on Grand Avenue, and he's pleased something is finally being done.

"I thought it was fabulous. Great idea," said Montgomery.

Montgomery says he's not concerned that the neighborhood could become a major tourist attraction.

"It's a major tourist attraction now, because busloads come in. I mean huge buses," he said.

Nineteenth Century is trying to raise more than a quarter of one million dollars to fund the work, which may include purchasing the home next door and a vacant lot for a picnic area and off-street parking.

"We'd like for it to be a place where the neighborhood, the west end, that community can consider it a piece of the neighborhood," said Riedemann.

The goal is to begin work on Oct. 30th, the 40th anniversary of the "Rumble in the Jungle" fight against George Foreman, and be finished by Ali's 73rd birthday next January.

A spokesperson says the Muhammad Ali Center supports the restoration of the home but, at this point, is not directly involved in the project.

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