Former Detroit recreation center may be demolished

Updated: August 5, 2014, 2:21 PM ET
Associated Press

DETROIT -- A former recreation center near downtown Detroit where boxer Joe Louis and other athletes trained will be demolished unless someone comes up with a workable plan to save the building, city officials say.

The two-story Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center, which dates to 1929, is structurally intact but in disrepair, the Detroit Free Press reported (http://on.freep.com/1spNszA ). John Roach, a spokesman for Mayor Mike Duggan, said in an email Monday the site has been added to a list of places slated for demolition.

There had been hope that the city-owned building, which closed in the early 2000s, could be renovated.

"It takes away another piece of history from this city of ours," said Stuart Kirschenbaum, founder and president of the Michigan Boxing Hall of Fame and a former state boxing commissioner. "It's almost sacrilegious to see that nothing was done to at least save something -- a stairway, an entranceway."

The final phase of demolition is taking place nearby at the former Frederick Douglass Homes, better known as the Brewster projects. Louis once lived at the public housing project, as did members of the Supremes before the musical trio became vital voices of the Motown sound.

The housing project was built in 1935. Crews have been using heavy equipment to take down four 15-story towers that are part of the housing project.

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com


Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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