To help sustain momentum for their efforts to preserve Joe Frazier’s Gym as a North Philadelphia landmark, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Temple University’s Department of Architecture co-hosted “A Smokin’ Good Night” on Tuesday.
The event, billed as a “celebration of boxer Joe Frazier’s legacy,” featured a documentary screening at the Reel in Temple’s Student Center.
After “Joe Frazier: When the Smoke Clears” was shown, a panel discussion on “the intersection between storytelling and multi-media, the value of preserving historic places such as Joe Frazier’s Gym and why local preservationists keep history present in the public’s imagination” was held.
Among those involved were Quenell Jones, director of photography for the documentary released this year; Ann Dinh, the Temple University architecture major who has helped lead those preservation efforts; Jeanie Kahnke, spokesperson for the Muhammad Ali Center; Vernoca Michael, boxing promoter and co-owner of the Legendary Blue Horizon boxing venue on North Broad Street; and Nathaniel Popkin, research director for Hidden City Philadelphia.
“It has been really exciting and I’ve really learned a lot about historic preservation,” said Dinh, in a July article about the burgeoning Frazier efforts. “There are so many important buildings in North Philadelphia and a lot of them are close to Temple — like the Divine Lorraine and the Uptown Theater — but a lot of them are really dilapidated.”