By Andrea Romano
July 04, 2018
Credit: Paul Bergen/Redferns

Jazz lovers will soon want to book a trip to North Carolina.

The birthplace of iconic musician Nina Simone has been approved to be preserved as a National Treasure by the The National Trust for Historic Preservation. The singer, songwriter and civil rights activist passed away in 2003, after having recorded over 40 albums in her career.

The three-room, 660-square-foot home, 30 East Livingston Street, in Tryon, North Carolina, looks like a simple, small and a bit dilapidated house that you wouldn’t assume is the birthplace of a music legend.

Credit: Nancy Pierce

It was bought recently, in 2017, by a group of African-American artists — Adam Pendleton, sculptor and painter Rashid Johnson, filmmaker Ellen Gallagher, and abstract painter Julie Mehretu — for $95,000. The home has been in disrepair for many years, according to the Associated Press. The preservation process is estimated to cost about $250,000.

National Trust President and Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Meeks says both the trust and the home’s owners will work to honor Simone’s contributions to society and to “inspire new generations of artists and activists,” the AP reported.

Credit: Nancy Pierce

A ceremony was held to mark the decision, at which Simone’s sister, Frances Wayman, said to the press, “It's great to know that she's made such an impact. They still want to carry that forward for younger generations and ones after that. She was young, gifted and black. She was proud of heritage. She was proud of her blackness. She let that be known, and that is a good thing.”

Credit: Nancy Pierce

According to The Fader, the homeowners and trust do not currently have a “blueprint” of what exactly they will do with the property.