Aretha Franklin may have spent most of her life in Detroit, but the Queen of Soul has roots in Memphis. Aretha Franklins death on August 16th has revived interest in preserving her South Memphis birth home, at 406, Lucy Avenue. After her passing, fans flocked to her childhood home, where the windows are boarded up and covered with messages like “Respect” and “Our natural woman.” The house is also known as the place where Aretha Franklin’s father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin, preached.
The wooden house, which has been uninhabited for years, is about 1100sq. feet. It was slated for demolition in 2016, but preservation organizations stepped in. Jeffrey Higgs is the executive director of one of those organizations. He and other members of the community have big plans for turning the little home into a museum dedicated to Aretha Franklin, but they’ll need permission from the singer’s family before moving forward.
The Queen of Soul will be laid to rest on Friday, August 31st. The funeral will take place at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, beginning at 10 AM. Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Ron Isley, Chaka Khan, Fantasia and Jennifer Hudson are among the stars from across the range of music will travel to Detroit to pay homage to Aretha Franklin. The entire funeral is expected to be broadcast live.