The small and simple home of gospel/blues singer Nina Simone in North Carolina has been declared as a national treasure.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced the property's new status in a press release last week.
Nina Simone's Childhood Home Saved
The property located in Tryon has been empty for a really long time. While there were several efforts to rehabilitate the humble home, they all have been unsuccessful. The home, in 2016, was in danger of demolition.
Until last year, four African-American artists came together to acquire the property in the hopes of restoring the home as a tribute to the great singer and activist. Adam Pendleton, Rashid Johnson, Ellen Gallagher, and Julie Mehretu all chipped in to buy the dilapidated house in North Carolina for $95,000.
The purchase caught the attention of the National Trust, which recently launched a $25 million campaign to preserve historical sites relevant to the history of African-Americans.
"African-American women in jazz and in civil rights: their legacy is often undervalued, and there's an ongoing struggle for recognition," said Brent Leggs, director of African-American Cultural heritage Action Fund.
The National Trust will draw out plans to restore the home and develop a long-term strategy to preserve the property. The organization divulged that they would need about $250,000 to restore childhood home of the singer.
Pendleton, Johnson, Gallagher, and Mehretu will continue to be involved in the development of the new National Treasure. The Nina Simone Project, World Monuments Fund, and the North Carolina African-American Heritage Commission will also oversee the restoration.
Simone was born inside the tiny Tryon home in 1933.
Nina Simone's Legacy Lives On
There is a renewed interest on the "I Put A Spell On You" singer's life and music in the past couple of years. In December, it was announced that Simone will finally be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame together with Bon Jovi, the Moody Blues, and Dire Straits.
A ceremony took place in May. Lauryn Hill made an appearance at the event and paid tribute to the great singer-songwriter by performing some of her hits including "Black is the Color of my True Love's Hair" and "Ain't Got No, I Got Life."
More recently, Simone's life story was included in a collection called Good NIght Stories for Rebel Girls. Alicia Keys was tapped to read the late music icon's section for the audiobook.