• Forward Movement at the Nina Simone Childhood Home

    August 25, 2022

    Thanks to funding from the Mellon Foundation, the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is taking the lead role, in partnership with artists Rashid Johnson, Julie Mehretu, Adam Pendleton, and Ellen Gallagher, in fully rehabilitating and activating the Nina Simone Childhood Home. Previous funders Hillsdale Fund, Covington Foundation, World Monuments Fund, and Community Foundation of Western North Carolina also continue to support the work.

    Currently, the Action Fund team is working with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects and Mathews Architecture to complete planning and design documents for the home’s interior and landscape. The planning is scheduled to be completed by late 2022, with rehabilitation work anticipated to begin in early 2023.

    The National Trust is seeking qualified contractors to complete the project. The full project scope will be released via RFP in late 2022.

    As part of the ongoing efforts to protect and rehabilitate the house, the North Carolina National Register Advisory Committee has approved a nomination to list Simone’s childhood home on the National Register of Historic Places. The Department of the Interior is now considering it for final approval.

  • RFP for Nina Simone Childhood Home Exterior Rehabilitation

    October 29, 2021

    Nina Simone's Childhood Home, a white clapboard house with black trim.

    photo by: Nancy Pierce

    As a part of our Nina Simone Childhood Home National Treasure campaign, we are seeking proposals to complete exterior rehabilitation of the Nina Simone Childhood Home. This work is a continuation of stabilization efforts started in 2019, by the National Trust, World Monuments Fund and local partners. The exterior rehabilitation seeks to completed repairs and preserve the character of birthplace of legendary musician and civil rights activists Nina Simone in Tryon, NC.

    The Request for Proposal (RFP) is available to download from savingplaces.org/requests-for-proposals.

  • Explore the Nina Simone Childhood Home Reuse Project

    August 31, 2021

    Before becoming the High Priestess of Soul, Nina Simone was born and raised in Tryon, North Carolina, in a home where she was encouraged to find her voice—both through song and activism. Once in jeopardy, Simone’s childhood home was saved from demolition in part by the National Trust.

    For several years, the National Trust has engaged the local community and fans of Nina Simone everywhere to better understand what her work means to them, and as a result, how her childhood home can be preserved, and re-activated to honor her enduring legacy.

    Learn more about the plans and add your thoughts on the future of the space.

  • Read About Nina Simone's Childhood Home in Elle Décor

    September 18, 2020

    The front porch is a quintessential element of North Carolina houses.

    photo by: Nancy Pierce

    The front porch of Nina Simone's Childhood Home.

    The National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund and its work at Nina Simone’s Childhood Home in Tryon, North Carolina, were featured in the October issue of Elle Décor magazine in an article titled “It’s a New Dawn at Nina Simone’s Childhood Home.”

    The piece explains the site’s importance in Simone’s development as an artist, noting: “Her childhood in North Carolina left its mark, good and bad. She experienced her share of racial injustice growing up—and never forgot it. At the height of the civil rights movement, she composed the era’s most defiant song, “Mississippi Goddam,” in response to the assassination of NAACP leader Medgar Evers in Mississippi and the murder of four Black girls in a church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama.”

    Read the full article and learn why Brent Leggs, the Fund’s Executive Director, hopes the project will inspire “another thousand artists to become involved in preservation to own and steward, while bringing life back to these kinds of spaces and honoring Black cultural legacies.’”

    In September, the National Trust, in partnership with the World Monuments Fund and Preservation North Carolina, secured permanent protection of the home with a preservation easement. Learn more about this critical preservation step.

  • Nina Simone Childhood Home Permanently Protected!

    September 8, 2020

    The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, in partnership with World Monuments Fund and Preservation North Carolina, recently secured protection of Nina Simone’s childhood home. The home, located in Tryon, North Carolina is now protected with a preservation easement held by Preservation North Carolina, a statewide historic preservation advocacy organization. With the easement in place, the home is now protected indefinitely, with the agreement carrying forward to all future owners. While protecting the home, the easement will not impede rehabilitation of the home, but ensure its historic character is maintained and prevent demolition.

    In 2018, the National Trust for Historic Preservation designated Nina Simone’s Childhood Home as a National Treasure. Since this designation, the National Trust has worked with local partners in North Carolina to develop rehabilitation and protection strategies while envisioning a future use that honors the legacy of Nina Simone.

    More information can be found in this press release.

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