New owner of Muhammad Ali's childhood home plans to start renova - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New owner of Muhammad Ali's childhood home plans to start renovating in days

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Muhammad Ali's childhood home is being transformed into a museum -- and the new owner is talking about his ambitious start date for the renovation.

Right now the home doesn't look like much -- and quite frankly, is in bad shape -- but the new owner is a Philadelphia attorney and former boxing commissioner, and he plans to start renovating in the next 30 days.

There's already the Ali Center, a street named after him, his face on the side of buildings and paintings with his likeness. Soon, Muhammad Ali's childhood home will be in the mix.

Philadelphia attorney and former Pennsylvania boxing commissioner George Bochetto recently purchased part ownership of the house...and plans to restore it to how it looked when Ali lived.

"What we are going to do is we are going to put this home -- inside and out -- back to its condition that it was in in the 50s," said Bochetto. "It is going to start happening very fast."

From the looks of things, it is going to take a lot of work. Once you get past the historic marker, it goes downhill. From the window frames, to the railing, the roof, siding and even the porch light, the home is in bad shape -- and might even be considered a dump.

"Well, this dump is sacred ground," Bochetto said.

Bochetto is also in the process of buying the home next door.

"We're going to put the plantings exactly the way they were," he said. "We're going to paint it the same color; I don't know if most people know, but it was a pink house."

Lawrence Montgomery remembers the pink house well...in fact, Ali was a childhood friend.

"Ali baby-sat my children," he said.

"Mr. Clay -- the father -- liked pink," Montgomery said. "He even had a pink Cadillac."

Montgomery still lives across the street, and has seen dozens of renters and sightseers come and go.

"A big bus tour come through here the other day and people just piled out, looking for Muhammad's house," he said.

He's happy to know the next tour bus might actually get a real glimpse of the home that produced the greatest.

"Man, I am overjoyed," Montgomery said. "Yes, sir. Finally they are going to do something. You know, it has been vacant for years."

Bochetto feels pretty confident the finished project won't disappoint.

"It is going to be museum-level quality and we're going to want to share it with the world," he said.

Bochetto says the plan is for the work to be finished and the home to open as a museum by the fall of this year.

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