Photo: David Redfern/Redferns
Nina Simone's North Carolina Home Named A National Treasure
The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced on June 20 that the childhood home of Nina Simone in Tryon, N.C. will be protected as a National Treasure. The Trust has worked with the Ford Foundation to make this the first musical site protected with the assistance of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.
"Nina Simone's distinctive voice and social critique in the mid-20th century was unlike anything America had ever heard before," said the National Trust's President/CEO Stephanie Meeks. "While her musical and social justice legacy burns bright, her childhood home has been neglected. We're delighted to work with the home's new owners and the local community to chart a new future for the property that will honor her tremendous contributions to American society and inspire new generations of artists and activists to engage with her legacy."
As of 2017, the new owners are visual and conceptual artists Ellen Gallagher, Rashid Johnson, Julie Mehretu, and Adam Pendleton. Co-chair of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund's National Advisory Council, actress Phylicia Rashad will advise and advance the restoration work on our new and musical National Treasure.
The house was built around 1928, about a half mile from downtown Tryon, near the Blue Ridge Mountains. Nina Simone was born in 1933 and raised there, by her parents, with seven siblings. Her talent on the piano attracted support, lessons and chances to perform in church.