Local Youth Begin Restoration Work at John and Alice Coltrane Home
Essential maintenance and preservation work on the iconic property’s large front fence will be addressed by HOPE Crew as part of larger rehabilitation effort
Washington (August 1, 2019) – Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced that a Hands-On Preservation Experience (HOPE) Crew will perform important restoration work at the home at the John and Alice Coltrane Home, located on Long Island in the community of Dix Hills. The focus of the work will be repair of the fence which fronts the entire property. Over the course of several days, a team of local young people will gain valuable vocational experience while performing needed repairs at the Long Island home where the pioneering jazz musician and composer, and his wife Alice, lived during the 1960s.
The National Trust named the home a National Treasure in 2018, bringing its nearly 70 years of expertise to help the John and Alice Coltrane Home implement its vision for rehabilitating the now-vacant home and commemorating the Coltranes’ lasting contributions to the fields of music, humanitarianism, diplomacy, and spirituality.
The work undertaken by African American youth at the Coltrane Home is part of a partnership between the Fund II Foundation and the Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF). A $75,000 capacity-building grant made possible by the AACHAF allowed the Friends of the Coltrane Home to hire a project manager to help carry out its vision to rehabilitate and interpret the property.
“In this modest and unassuming Long Island home, John and Alice Coltrane produced musical masterpieces that continue to influence musicians to this day,” said Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. “Reusing the home for music education is an ideal way to honor the legacy of John and Alice Coltrane. Bringing a HOPE Crew project here represents our ongoing commitment to promoting the history of this site, and to uplifting long-overlooked black history sites across the country.”
“The Town of Huntington is proud to partner with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and The John and Alice Coltrane Home to continue the restoration of the Home and improve the appearance of the beautiful site on which the Home sits,” said Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci.
“We are excited to get to work on the repair of the fence, which will truly improve the appearance of the property,” said Ron Stein, President of the John and Alice Coltrane Home. “Involving youth from the community in this work is an immense bonus.”
“We are always excited to support the preservation of spaces associated with iconic African Americans who have made great contributions to the world,” says Linda Wilson, executive director, Fund II Foundation. “This place, where John and Alice Coltrane lived, loved, worked and created great music that continues to inspire music lovers of all ages,fittingly serves to inspire others through music and we are happy to be a part of that.”
John Coltrane was revolutionizing the jazz world and Alice Coltrane was already a respected musician when they moved into their home on Long Island in 1964. The 1952 ranch-style house on 3.4 wooded acres in Dix Hills offered the Coltranes privacy and plenty of room to record, compose, and raise a family. John spent his final three years in the home, a period of intense exploration and spiritual expression through music for him. "A Love Supreme," widely regarded as a modern masterpiece that continues to influence and inspire musicians today, was composed in the upstairs bedroom. In the same home, Alice expanded as an artist, adding harp and organ to her repertoire. Her groundbreaking recordings for Impulse! were made in the basement studio and stand as evidence of her triumph over the music world’s resistance to female instrumentalists at that time. She also began her path as a spiritual leader there.
HOPE Crew was created by the National Trust in 2014 to provide young people preservation trades training in window restoration, masonry repair, and other skills at historic sites. The grant from Fund II Foundation enables HOPE Crew to expand beyond national parks to proactively engage diverse youth in preserving places tied to African American activism and achievement nationwide.
Other HOPE Crew activities planned or undertaken with Fund II Foundation support include preservation projects at the Pittsburgh home of author August Wilson and Chicago’s South Side Community Art Center, and six-week intensive internships for architecture students enrolled at two Historically Black Colleges and Universities—part of Fund II Foundation’s commitment to diversifying STEM fields of education.
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About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places. National Treasures, the National Trust’s signature program, are a revolving portfolio of cherished and nationally significant historic places for which the organization deploys the full range of its preservation, advocacy, and public engagement resources to secure long-term sustainability. Since the start of the program in 2014, HOPE Crew has completed more than 165 projects, trained over 750 young people (including veterans) in preservation trades, performed more than $18 million of preservation work and recruited thousands of volunteers to protect places that are significant to their communities. For more information, visit: savingplaces.org | @savingplaces
About the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund
The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a multi-year initiative led by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with the Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and other partners, working to make an important and lasting contribution to our cultural landscape by elevating the stories and places of African American achievement and activism. savingplaces.org/actionfund
About the Fund II Foundation
Fund II Foundation makes grants to 501 (c)3 public charities in five areas: 1) preserving the cultural richness of the African-American experience; 2) safeguarding human dignity by giving voice to the voiceless and promoting human rights; 3) conserving the environment, promoting the benefits of the great outdoors to people of all ages and backgrounds; 4) affording music education to nourish both talent and the soul; and 5) sustaining the American values of entrepreneurship, empowerment, and innovation. For more information, visit: fund2foundation.org | @Fund2F
About the Friends of the Coltrane Home aka “The John and Alice Coltrane Home”<
The “Friends of the Coltrane Home”, aka “The John and Alice Coltrane Home” is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to restore the Home, create an education and cultural center, and provide outreach education and programs to the local and regional community while furthering the music and humanitarian legacies of John and Alice Coltrane. In addition to a pilot education program, the organization has also held four “Coltrane Day” music events among other events, with the theme “Building Community Through Music.”