The former home of legendary singer Nina Simone — designated as a National Treasure in 2018 — is now protected property that will be preserved for years to come.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s (NTHP) African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund partnered with the World Monuments Fund and Preservation North Carolina to secure protection for Simone’s childhood home.
Located in Tryon, North Carolina, the home is where Simone taught herself to play piano at age 3, according to NTHP. The preservation easement placed on the home by Preservation North Carolina ensures that the property owner will permanently protect the “authentic character” of the historic building.
“Nina Simone — legendary musician, social justice champion, and global inspiration — defied constraints placed on Black female performers in the mid-twentieth century to become the voice of civil rights,” Katherine Malone-France, of NTHP, said in a press release.
“In order to honor and carry forward her extraordinary legacy, a group of visionary artists and preservationists have collaborated to demonstrate our commitment to equity and racial justice by protecting an American landmark in perpetuity and ensuring that Simone’s unique voice continues to inspire and empower people through her childhood home,” she said.
Four African American visual artists — Adam Pendleton, Rashid Johnson, Ellen Gallagher and Julie Mehretu — purchased the home in 2017 after it had fallen into disrepair. The group entered into a voluntary legal agreement in order to preserve the property, according to NTHP.
“Today, Nina Simone’s legacy is as important as ever,” Pendleton said in a press release. “This preservation easement is another step towards ensuring that her childhood home, and the history it embodies, persists long into the future.”
Simone, who was born Eunice Waymon in 1933, is one of the most influential and accomplished singers of her time. She died in 2003 at age 70.