Historical marker unveiled at Spalding University’s Columbia Gym

A new historical marker was unveiled Jan. 16 at Spalding University’s Columbia Gym that commemorates the building at 824 S. Fourth St. as the location where a young Muhammad Ali learned to box. (Photo Special to The Record)

A new historical marker was unveiled on Jan. 16 at Spalding University’s Columbia Gym, 824 S. Fourth St., where young Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay, learned to box.

According to an announcement from Spalding University, “The Columbia Gym historical marker, which is located next to the front steps of the main entrance, is one in a new series of Ali-related markers around the city that are produced by the Kentucky Historical Society and that celebrate the legendary humanitarian and boxer’s Louisville roots. The series of markers is supported by Louisville Tourism, which also developed the Footsteps of Greatness tour of Ali-related landmarks in Louisville that includes Columbia Gym.”

Columbia Gym, which once housed Joe Martin’s boxing gym, “is now the home of Spalding’s NCAA Division III volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as the Golden Eagles’ athletic department offices and the historic Columbia Auditorium,” according to the university.

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