GARY | A small one-story house in a neighborhood filled with vacant lots and abandoned houses has long been a window into the modest roots of the Jackson family who rose to international fame.
The childhood home of Michael Jackson at 2300 Jackson Street in Gary is valued at a mere $22,100. Since Jackson's death in 2009, fans from across the country have flocked to Northwest Indiana to pay tribute to the "King of Pop."
A large stone monument on the home's pristine lawn declares Gary as Jackson's hometown. Next door, a house with large photos of Jackson with his parents will soon become a pick-up location for an online store.
The house is part of officials' efforts to revitalize the city. The Jackson Street of Dreams project has been working this summer to build two new homes and renovate three existing homes near Jackson's childhood home.
On a recent afternoon, a truck driver from North Carolina jogged to the house from a nearby truck stop to take photos. Stanley Kimble said he grew up on Jackson's music and said he considers the house a part of history.
"I wish I could go inside," Kimble said. "If I could just touch it. It's a blessing. I'm going to bring (my children) out here one day."
Vanessa Gonzalez, of New York, was visiting Chicago when she stopped by the house to take photos.
"I knew it was small but to see it in person," Gonzalez said. "It's amazing how humble beginnings can lead to something so big."