Rosa Parks’s home has been moved to Berlin, Germany to avoid demolition.
The home of one of the most recognizable figures in the Civil Right’s Movement should be treated as a landmark in its original Detroit; however, Parks’ home was very close to being destroyed in Detroit.
The Huffington Post reports that Parks’ niece Rhea McCauley found out that the house was in danger and immediately made $500 down payment to buy it while simultaneously looking for ways to save the home. Fortunately, she came across artist Ryan Mendoza, who agreed that Parks’ house should be saved.
Mendoza gathered volunteers to deconstruct the house, transport it to Berlin, and rebuild it over several months.
“It is something that is precious,” McCauley told The Associated Press. “It is priceless, yet it is being mistreated. That’s what I saw and that’s how it felt. So when I met Ryan and he said, ‘Let’s bring it to Berlin and restore it,’ I said yes.”
Mendoza, a New York native, had already moved a house from Detroit to Europe for an earlier art project and had the experience to make the move happen.
“The basic question, the fundamental question I ask myself: ‘Is the house worthless or is the house priceless?’ For the American institutions so far the house has been deemed worthless,” Mendoza told Agence France-Presse. “It was put on a demolition list; that’s not a detail.”
There appears to be much more interest in preserving this piece of American history in Germany than in the United States. Hundreds of people showed up for the home’s unveiling and Mendoza has a lot of plans for its future. He’s already installed a sound exhibit for visitors that includes a phone interview with Parks.