Discarded sofas, tires and trash are strewn across the property on McGraw. The brick building is covered in graffiti and stripped of everything of value. The grounds are overgrown with long grass and weeds.
Kronk’s biggest supporter was legendary trainer Emanuel Steward, who turned the dingy basement of the city’s first recreation center on McGraw into a world-renowned gym by the 1980s. He died in October 2012.
A year before his death, Steward told me he wanted nothing more than to revive the gym and give troubled Detroit kids a place to find hope and purpose. Hearns, 53, echoed those sentiments a few days after his long-time trainer and friend died.
Instead, the center is just another abandoned building in Detroit, surrounded by trash and decay.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.