Near or far, Nina’s legacy is available worldwide

Published 10:35 pm Sunday, July 21, 2019

Tryon home now offers online virtual-tour

TRYON—The Town of Tryon is lucky to have been the birthplace of internationally renowned artist and civil rights activist, Nina Simone (born Eunice Waymon). Simone was born in a small, wooden home on Livingston Street, just behind Downtown Tryon.

Over the past few months, The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Nina Simone Project, have worked together to restore and preserve the childhood home of Simone. The National Trust and the HOPE Crew replaced exterior siding and repainted the exterior of the building as part of the first part of the restoration process. The HOPE Crew also removed the porch that was on the back of the house. 

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The home is currently owned by four artists from New York City and has been designated a National Treasure by The National Trust, an honor that is shared by less than 100 locations. 

The interior of the home has been left virtually untouched since the completion of phase one of the restoration project. The second phase focuses on restoring the metal roof with the final phase being the renovation of the interior of the home for its future purpose. 

On Wednesday, Vanessa Ferguson, an artist that was “discovered” while competing in the TV show The Voice, held a concert filming session in the main room of the house. The weathered upright organ, rusty potbelly stove, linoleum pieces, and the flaking teal paint set the background for Ferguson’s video. 

The National Trust has recently finished scanning the home and created a virtual tour of the Nina Simone childhood home. The home is composed of three rooms, not bedrooms, three open space rooms that form a U-shape. While the interior of the home is not currently open to the public, it can be explored through the virtual tour presented by the Google Arts & Culture, narrated by Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, composer, playwright, and actress Nnenna Freelon.

To access the virtual tour visit The National Trust website at;

By Samuel Robinson