Fans wonder what’s next for Aretha Franklin’s childhood home

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A legend is gone, but there are big plans brewing for the home where Aretha Franklin was born.

Franklin died early Thursday morning. She was 76-years-old.

For more than five decades, she gave the world songs of change, joy and pain.

She was known as the 'Queen of Soul.' On Thursday, her fans have been dropping by he childhood home on Lucy Street to say their goodbyes.

She touched hearts and sent messages through music.

"We love you Aretha," fans proclaimed.

"I learned how to spell respect off her record 'Respect.' I don't want the world to know I didn't know how to spell until then," a fan said.

Franklin may have passed on, but what's still standing is the place where she took her first breath.

"Aretha Franklin, the 'Queen of Soul,' was born in this home and lived here until she was 2-years-old. It shows the level of respect people have for her," Jeff Higgs said.

He's the executive producer of the South Memphis Renewal Community Development Cooperation.

Franklin's loss brought some tears and pushed people to break out in song.

Her death even moved neighbors to bring out speaks to make sure all of Lucy Avenue could hear the 'Queen of Soul's' music.

That brought fans to ask the question, 'What's next for her birthplace?"

Higgs says he has the answer.

"We have plans to renovate the house," he said.

Fans think the crumbling cottage that narrowly escaped being demolished in 2016 deserves the best.

"I want this to be as big and as grand as Graceland," a fan said.

Higgs says giving the proper tribute takes money.

"We've raised money, but we need to raise some more money."

Aside from that, they need the blessing from Franklin's family.

"We won't rush, because she's passed away. We will continue at the pace we were going," Higgs said.

To make sure the home turns into a tribute fit for royalty, he says he talked to Franklin on the phone four years ago.

Higgs says she called him, because she was excited about saving the home.

"We want to make sure they review the plans first before we reveal it."

He says now there is an even greater push to give the home the proper makeover.