Dated: June 15, 2011
Contact: Steve Fulgoni at (631) 860-9200; www.thecoltranehome.org
Links to National Trust for Historic Preservation
A nationally significant historic site, The Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, is in danger. Listed as one of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Places, and saved from demolition following a worldwide grass roots effort several years ago, it remains in urgent need.
The Coltrane Home is a symbol of the extraordinary contributions of one of America’s foremost musicians, composers, and contributors to music here, and throughout the World. This endangered symbol needs support now to keep its potential alive. This announcement is a critical next step in the process of restoring this landmark.
Friends of the Coltrane Home, which now owns the home, is in desperate need of financial support to complete the goals envisioned seven years ago when the home was saved from imminent demolition. At that time the home was designated a local historic landmark by the Huntington Town Board. It was subsequently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been acquired by the Town of Huntington.
But that was not the end of the quest to save the home—it was just the beginning.
Friends of the Coltrane Home, which is dedicated to restoring the Long Island home of John and Alice Coltrane in order to preserve and perpetuate their musical and spiritual legacies, needs to raise funds to first complete an historic structure report that will analyze
the condition of the house, and recommend a course of action for restoration and interpretation of the house. Friends has already received matching grant funding of $38,810 from the State of New York as well as $5,000 from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
More than a restoration, however, the vision for The Coltrane Home project will:
• Create a museum, archives and learning center, celebrating the Coltranes’ music and influences, and
• Provide an outreach center for music education, appreciation, creativity and participation for students and adults through the schools and community.
The house, which sits in a quiet residential neighborhood in Dix Hills, NY just off the Long Island Expressway, is where John Coltrane, a pioneer in world music and a spiritual and emotional force whose following continues to grow throughout the world, and his wife
Alice settled down to raise their family. Shortly after they moved into the house in 1964, their first son was born. John took time off from his busy travel schedule in order to spend time with his family. Isolating himself in the second floor guest room with pen, paper and saxophone, he composed one of the most influential pieces of music of the 20th century, A Love Supreme. Although Coltrane did not write it as a message of civil rights, it nonetheless had such meaning for members of the African American community although its spiritual message transcended racial barriers then and today. Coltrane died in just three years later. The family continued to live in the house until 1973.
Although the house has changed hands several times over the past four decades, it retains many of the decorative features from the Coltrane’s time in the home.
In late 2003, Dix Hills resident and Coltrane fan Steve Fulgoni discovered that the house was slated for demolition to make room for three new houses. He immediately contacted Town officials and initiated a worldwide grass roots effort to save the house, which drew letters of support from fans and celebrities from around the world, culminating culminated in the Town’s acquisition of the house in 2005 on behalf of the newly formed Friends of the Coltrane Home. Earlier this year the home was identified by the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities as one of the four most endangered historic sites on Long Island.
Since that time, Friends has taken steps to stabilize the house pending development of plans for full restoration. Water and electrical
service have been restored, debris has been removed, mold eradicated, and the building secured.
Planning sessions with Coltrane family members, music executives, musicians, music educators and community members have been held to create the vision for the Home. In addition to creating plans to restore the Home and developing an archives and learning center, music education and outreach is a key part of the mission. Called The Coltrane Legacy Education Project, this aspect of the vision seeks to help educate the educators and foster creativity and greater music participation for children and adults
One shining example of the power of the Coltrane Legacy is a program developed by a Queens second grade teacher, Christine Passarella. The program known as “Kids for Coltrane” uses John Coltrane’s music to encourage children to reach their full potential by following their bliss.
To find out more about Friends of the Coltrane Home, visit http://www.thecoltranehome.org or call Steve Fulgoni at (631) 860-9200.