Kansas City gets six-figure grant to help restore Satchel Paige’s former home

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The effort to restore and preserve the former home of baseball legend Satchel Paige got some extra steam on Friday.

Kansas City announced it received a grant of up to $150,000 from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to repair and stabilize the home ruined by fire near 28th and Prospect.

That fire in May of 2018 left massive damage, and many organizations wanted to step up and preserve a piece of Kansas City history.

The Kansas City Homesteading Authority purchased the home earlier this year, and the city said in a news release that improvements will allow it to put together a request for proposal for the home's redevelopment.

“This is the result of a collaborative effort by city staff and community partners to ensure the long term viability of this important site and honor Satchel Paige’s legacy in Kansas City baseball history for generations to come,” City Manager Troy Schulte stated in a news release.

The release goes on to say that the city, Historic Kansas City, the Santa Fe Area Council, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and Representative Emanuel Cleaver II all pitched in to help, among many others.

FOX4 previously reported that city leaders wanted to move fast to fix the damage, as time was fleeting.

“We want to move on this fairly quickly because we’re running out of time,” John Baccala told Zac Summers. “The structure is in bad shape and we can’t afford to let it get any worse.”

Baccala said they city paid off the outstanding liens and notes on the house with the sole purpose of keeping Paige’s legacy alive.

“He is a huge part of not just Kansas City but baseball in general and we want to preserve his legacy,” Baccala said.

Paige's family also expressed a desire to see it fixed, and recounted on what the house meant to them.

“That house was the nucleus of our family,” daughter Linda Shelby said. “What dad did, if you were traveling through Kansas City and he was in town, you came to his home and you got a home-cooked meal and you could just be yourself.”

“We entertained everyone from Count Basie to the Harlem Globetrotters there.”

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Bob Kendrick echoed sentiments of why it was important to keep Paige's presence alive in the neighborhood.

“We don’t want the neighborhood to forget that Satchel Paige was once a part of that Santa Fe neighborhood,” Kendrick said. “I guarantee you will see an overwhelming outpouring of folks who want to make sure that house is saved, in some fashion."

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