Satchel Paige’s home may soon be revitalized. His family wants a say in the restoration
While the city is making plans to revitalize baseball legend, Satchel Paige’s Kansas City home, his family is uncertain about its future. The once grand house sits, with boarded windows and a chain-link fence perimeter, on 28th Street in the historic Sante Fe neighborhood.
According to The Washington Post, the Kansas City Missouri Homesteading Authority plans to start seeking formal proposals from developers for the house. Paige’s children and surviving family members, however, are hesitant to trust the city with their patriarch’s legacy.
Paige’s family wishes to purchase the home from the city and they have created a GoFundMe page to raise money for procuring the property and restoration. The page has raised over $15,500 thus far, with a goal of $350,000. The page documents the home’s history and ownership.
According to the page, in 1986 after the deaths of both Satchel Paige and his wife, LaHoma Brown, there was a lien on the house. Paige’s daughter, Linda Paige Shelby, purchased the home from the lien holder. Shelby was a single mother at the time and while she could afford the mortgage, she could not afford upkeep of the aging home. She sold the property in 1991.
The new homeowner never moved into the home, and it sat vacant for 27 years. The Paige family contacted the new owner in 2015, asking if they could buy back the home, and allegedly she told them that if she decided to sell, she would let them know. She died in 2016, and the home was left to her son. They were unable to contact the woman’s son about buying the house back, and in the spring of 2018 the house caught fire.
It was at this time when the Homesteading Authority acquired the property. The Homesteading Authority, the City, and multiple organizations attended meetings about plans for the house, but Satchel Paige’s family was not invited. The Paige family representatives were not invited to any of the meetings until a family friend contacted the City and requested a meeting. At this meeting, Paige’s daughters, Shelby and Pamela Jean Paige, urged the Homesteading Authority to put the Satchel Paige Foundation on the deed, to protect Paige’s legacy and ensure surviving family members had say in property planning.
“Other meetings and/or conversations were had with City officials in which the family again stated their desire for the Satchel Paige Foundation to be listed as co-owner of the property and listed on the deed,” the family writes on their GoFundMe page. “They [the family] explained that without co-ownership, they would have no legal say in how the property was used. They would not be able to require transparency and integrity of the process. They also stated that the park named in their father’s honor was in disrepair with a wall falling.”
“The school named in his honor was closed, and the house he had lived in since 1950, was deliberately set on fire. They stated that they did not own any of those properties. They explained the family felt their father’s legacy was being systematically dismantled here in Kansas City, Missouri.”
In an article by Fox4, Shelby explains that she and her siblings want to refurbish the house and turn it into a conference space and museum dedicated to her father. She adds that she and her family are not after profits, rather they would like to see that the house is turned into what their father would want.
“It’s not a money-grab. He’s been our father forever,” Shelby told Fox4, “We just want to protect his legacy.”