- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The owner of Muhammad Ali’s boyhood home has partnered with a restoration specialist in a venture to completely restore the Louisville, Kentucky, residence to its original condition.

The Courier-Journal (https://cjky.it/1wgV9e7) reports Nevada-based real estate investor Jared Weiss, who brought the property two years ago, has joined with Lawrence, Kansas-based 19th Century Restorations to restore the home.

Dan Reidemann, who is CEO and founder of the restoration company, told the newspaper that the effort would cost about $250,000 and the hope is to finish it in enough time to hand over the keys to the boxing great on his 73rd birthday in January.

Work is set to begin on the small white house with a sagging front porch overhang in western Louisville by the end of October.

When the work is finished, Reidemann said it should look as it did in 1954 when a young man then known as Cassius Clay lived there with his family.

“We are happy that it will be fixed up and kept up. It will help preserve the legacy of Muhammad as a famous Louisvillian who grew up there,” said Jeanie Kahnke, spokeswoman for the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville.

Reidemann said the restoration will include removing rotting wood and rebuilding much of the structure, as well as replacing windows, doors and possibly the roof.

“We want to restore it, so when you walk through it, it looks like it did when Muhammad lived there when he was 12 or 13 years old,” Reidemann said.

He said that he and Weiss will begin the effort with their own funds, but will hold a “crowd-funding” campaign in an effort to raise $250,000.

Lawrence Montgomery, who has lived for 35 years across from the Ali home, says “it will be really great” to have the deteriorating home restored. He says onlookers and tour buses drive by all the time to look at the residence, which has a historic marker out front to identify its significance.

The marker says Ali lived in the mostly black neighborhood with his parents and brother and attended local public schools.

It was at the home where the future boxing champion’s “values were instilled,” the marker says.

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