The vacant home in Camden, New Jersey where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. once lived won’t be demolished, but will receive some much needed repairs instead.
NJ.com reports that the current owner of the Camden residence, Jeanette Lilly Hunt, reached an agreement with nonprofit organization Cooper’s Ferry Partnership to preserve the historic home. The Camden Historical Society will list the house as a historic property during its next meeting, according to the news site.
“I’m proud that I was able to bring our community together to help restore and save this important piece of American history,” Rep. Donald Norcross, (D-1st Dist.), wrote in a statement. “We owe it to future generations to ensure this national treasure is safeguarded for many years to come.”
Per NJ.com, Norcross had previously appealed to the state to secure a historical designation for the civil rights icon’s former home. Local historian Patrick Duff identified the home as King’s residence during the 1950s.
“It’s obvious this house is critical to our past and needs to be preserved for the future,” said Anthony Perno, CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. “We’re proud to be partners making this a reality.”
The partnership is expected to take over as custodian to repair the house. The search to find an organization to manage and maintain the property will also begin soon.
The decision to designate King’s Camden home as a historic site comes just weeks after the former Detroit home of Rosa Parks was partially dismantled and shipped to Germany for an art exhibit. Parks’ home also faced the threat of demolition.