In 1928 developer and builder Gerald C. English started to build a 11-room, 3-bath English Tudor house on a 94-by-126-foot lot at 175-12 Murdock Ave. in Addisleigh Park.
It was completed in 1929. Mr. English, of the famous Rodman-English Building Corp., was responsible for building over 1,700 English Tudor homes in Hollis, St. Albans, Rego Park and Auburndale. He lived directly across the street from his masterpiece.
The new building was sold to Fifth Avenue Real Estate Company Executive Leighton Phelps. Joe Louis, who was the heavyweight boxing champion of the world from 1937 to 1949, fell in love with beauty salon mogul Rose Morgan of Harlem after his 1949 divorce.
Louis who was suffering from bad investments and being chased by the IRS, decided to purchase the home and put the title of the deed in Morgan’s name. In 1955 his love affair blossomed into marriage. By 1958 they had called it quits when Louis refused to have children with her. An annulment was granted. Morgan, two years his senior, continued to hold onto the house.
Louis’ health failed and he passed away at age 66 in 1981. Morgan continued her empire and passed away in 2008 at age 96.
Their house was recently sold for $723,000.