Report: Joe Louis' old boxing gym up for demolition in Detroit

Tuesday August 5th, 2014

The Detroit recreation center where Joe Louis once trained is listed for demolition, reports the Detroit Free Press

The building, the Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center, closed in the early 2000s and has been deserted. It will be demolished in the fall unless someone comes up with a workable plan to save it. 

Dr. Stuart Kirschenbaum, founder and president of the Michigan Boxing Hall of Fame, said the scheduled demolition will take away another piece of Detroit's history. He's seen many Detroit rec centers that served as boxing gyms be torn down in recent years, calling it "the final nail in the coffin for boxing in Detroit." 

"It just kills me," he said. "It’s almost sacrilegious to see that nothing was done to at least save something — a stairway, an entrance way."

The center has stood since 1929. 

More: Hopkins, Kovalev agree to light heavyweight title unification bout

According to the Free Press, Detroit officials have already started to make future plans for the site.

- Molly Geary

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.