Joe Frazier gym on list

Joe Frazier's gym in Philadelphia is on the 2012 list of America's 11 Most Endangered HIstoric Places, the National Trust for Historice Preservation announced Wednesday.

This annual list spotlights important examples of the nation's architectural, cultural and natural heritage at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. More than 230 sites have been on the list during its 25-year history, and during that time, only a handful have been lost.

Frazier's gym is located on North Broad Street in Philadelphia. Frazier, a gold-medal winner at the 1964 Olympics, trained at the gym for his legendary fights against Muhammad Ali.

Today, the converted warehouse space is home to a discount furniture store and two floors of vacant space.

Despite increased interest in commemorating Frazier's life after his death last year, the history of the gym is not well recognized and the gym is unprotected, with no formal historic designation at the local or national level.

The first step in protecting Frazier's gym is to ensure it is designated at the local level. Students at nearby Temple University have begun the process this month and will submit a nomination form to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places to protect the gym from adverse alterations and demolition. The gym also needs to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places, identify a preservation-friendly buyer now that it is for sale, and assist present and future owners in developing possible reuses.

For the complete list, see: http://www.PreservationNation.org/places