A Collaborative Effort to Help Save Joe Frazier’s Gym

Posted on: September 19th, 2014 by Brent Leggs 1 Comment


By Brent Leggs and Ben Leech 

Exterior of Joe Frazier's Gym with the original sign. | Credit Ben Leech

Exterior of Joe Frazier's Gym with the original sign. | Credit Ben Leech

Philadelphia has a rich boxing history, both real and fictional. One iconic structure from the city’s real life historyJoe Frazier’s Gymis now well on its way to finding a new use, thanks to a collaborative effort by a team of preservationists who are working to preserve Frazier’s legacy and buy time for the future redevelopment of this national treasure.

A Rising Champion

Born to sharecropping parents in Beaufort, South Carolina, Joe Frazier eventually landed in the City of Brotherly Love, where he crafted his boxing skills and set roots in his adopted hometown. While working the local boxing circuit, Frazier signed a contract in 1966 with a group of investors who converted an old industrial warehouse into a world-class training facility for the young boxer. Frazier went on to a world-class career, and with winnings from his last Ali fight, Frazier bought the gym, located at 2917 North Broad Street, from his investors and renamed it Joe Frazier’s Gym. After retiring in 1976, Frazier kept the gym open and mentored younger fighters. His gym provided a safe haven for urban youth and served as a cultural landmark in a neighborhood suffering from years of disinvestment and crime. After his death in 2011, the warehouse changed ownership; today it houses a discount furniture store. ... Read More →

Book Review: Historic Preservation Law in a Nutshell

Posted on: September 16th, 2014 by Special Contributor No Comments


By Caitlin C. Fitzsimons

nutshellimageSara C. Bronin and Ryan Rowberry’s Historic Preservation Law in a Nutshell (West Academic Publishing 2014) is a comprehensive resource for law students, attorneys, historic preservation law enthusiasts, and many more. Part of West Academic Publishing’s extensive “Nutshell Series” (or “Nutshells,” as law students affectionately call them), the study guide serves as an excellent companion to any law school course in historic preservation law as well as a summer legal internship in historic preservation law.

Like its fellow Nutshells, Historic Preservation Law in a Nutshell outlines the major case law and statutes in the historic preservation law field and presents the material in a clear and concise discussion that facilitates the connections law students make in reading their casebooks. Bronin and Rowberry walk their reader through the intricacies of the three foundational, federal laws governing historic preservation in the United States, namely the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966. The authors also contemplate local regulation of historic preservation at the state, county, and town levels via historic preservation ordinances, which vary widely across the country. After surveying historic preservation law statutes and supplementing their discussion with relevant case law, Bronin and Rowberry move to federal constitutional constraints on historic preservation law, including the police power, due process, takings, religious liberty, and free speech. The second half of the Nutshell explores subtopics in historic preservation law including architectural protections for antiquities and abandoned shipwrecks, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and the federal and state rehabilitation tax credits. The authors conclude their study guide with a consideration of international preservation, highlighting the 1954 Hague Convention and 1970 and 1972 UNESCO Conventions.... Read More →

What Is Your Period of Significance?

Posted on: September 15th, 2014 by Preservation Leadership Forum Staff No Comments


Forum Journal 2014 Summer CoverIn the summer 2014 issue of Forum Journal, site directors from President Lincoln's Cottage, the Jane Addams Hull House, and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum describe how their sites embrace history as it is happening today--and not just from 50 or 150 years ago.

At these sites, the period of significance is now, and these directors are using the site's history as a basis for addressing and understanding social justice issues and current events.

Accompanying the interviews are two pieces of enhanced content intended to help directors and staff of historic sites think through their own period of significance. Non-members can access the enhanced content below; it can also be downloaded directly from Slideshare. ... Read More →