Protecting the history

Published 2:14 pm Thursday, September 10, 2020

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Nina Simone home permanently protected

TRYON—The Nina Simone childhood home in Tryon will be permanently protected by a preservation easement forever.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action fund, in partnership with World Monuments Fund and Preservation North Carolina secured the protection of the home. The preservation easement is held by Preservation North Carolina.

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The easement means that the present and all future property owners of the home agree to permanently protect the historic building’s authentic character. The easement will not impede rehabilitation of the home but will ensure its historic character is maintained forever as well as prevent future demolition of the structure.

“Preservation North Carolina has long been in the business of saving the places that matter to the diverse communities of North Carolina-and equally important, we are committed to telling the stories of those places,” said Preservation NC President Myrick Howard. “When the place disappears, frequently, the story does too. Easements are one of the most important tools we have to save places and their stories. We are beyond delighted and honored to be a part of preserving not just Nina Simone’s childhood home, but the powerful story of her roots in North Carolina.”

The National Trust designated Nina Simone’s childhood home as a national treasure in 2018 and joined with its owners and partners, World Monument Fund, the Nina Simone project and the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission to preserve the home.

Nina Simone was born Eunice Waymon in 1933 in the East Livingston Street home. The house is where Waymon taught herself piano at the age of 3. The house is a 660-square-foot structure that had fallen in disrepair over the years. Artists Adam Pendleton, Rashid Johnson, Ellen Gallagher and Julie Mehretu purchased the property in 2017. “Today, Nina Simone’s legacy is as important as ever. This preservation easement is another step towards ensuring that her childhood home, and the history it embodies, persists long into the future,” said Pendleton. “We’re delighted to be working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Preservation North Carolina alongside many other partners to make this continuous stewardship a reality.”

For more information on the Nina Simone Childhood Home and campaign updates visit