- Associated Press - Thursday, August 28, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit is seeking proposals to redevelop a former recreation center near downtown where boxer Joe Louis and other athletes trained.

The two-story Brewster Wheeler recreation center opened in 1929 as the Central Community Center. It later was renamed after Leon Wheeler, Detroit’s first black recreation worker.

Mayor Mike Duggan told reporters Wednesday he wants to see the building reused in a way that remembers what it meant to Louis, Wheeler and the neighborhood.

Budget cuts forced the center’s closing in 2006. The mayor’s office said earlier this month that the site was added to a list of places slated for demolition.

The center sits adjacent to what’s left of the former Frederick Douglass Homes, currently in the final stages of demolition. Louis once lived at the public housing project.

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