Brandeis childhood home up for sale to highest bidder

Published: Apr. 23, 2014 at 9:23 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2014 at 9:12 PM EDT
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The childhood home of Louis J. Brandeis
The childhood home of Louis J. Brandeis
A closer look at the sign in front of the Brandeis house.
A closer look at the sign in front of the Brandeis house.
Bill Menish
Bill Menish

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's the find of a lifetime for a legal buff, history lover or someone who just wants a lot of space. The childhood home of one of Louisville's most well-known citizens goes up for sale Thursday and you can name your own price.

"Every story has a property to tell it just so happens this one has an incredible story about a very prominent Louisvillian who ended up having a very dramatic impact on the U.S. Supreme court and beyond," said Bill Menish, managing director of SVN Auction Services.

Menish wants you to peel back the modern shine of the building at 310 East Broadway and think back to its birth around the time of the birth of Louis D. Brandeis.

"This is his boyhood home," said Menish. "The home was built around 1856. He moved in right around the age of 8 or 9."

If you don't run in legal circles, you might need a refresher on who Brandeis was: the first Jewish person to ever sit on the United States Supreme Court, a man known as the "people's attorney" who fought for workers rights and the first to argue that the Constitution guaranteed the right to privacy. He also helped build up the University of Louisville's law school and general library.

"In fact I've learned since we took this property to auction, he actually taught a young 9 year old slave how to read and write, living in this home," Menish said.

The home shows its history from the outside. The Brandeis home was three stories. In 1917, the Louisville Turners club bought it and added a gymnasium. A doctor's group owned it after that and added a four-story addition. That group is now selling it at auction.

"It's being sold at absolute auction," said Menish. "Absolute auction means it sells for the highest price no matter what that price is ... It's going to have new history with somebody who can buy it at the right price and do something amazing with it."

The Brandeis boyhood home received a historic designation a couple of years ago. It goes on the auction block Thursday, April 24 at 12:30 p.m.. Click here for more information.

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