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September 2017 Issue
August 2017
JAZZIZ July Issue

Jacqui Naylor

The John Coltrane House is in a state of neglect

The John Coltrane House, located on North 33rd Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1999. Despite this, the house is currently vacant, in disrepair and largely ignored.

Coltrane first bought the house in 1952, nine years after moving to Philadelphia. He lived there with his mother and his first cousin, Mary Alexander, who stayed in the house after the saxophonist left for New York City in 1958. When Coltrane died in 1967, the house passed to his cousin, who sold it in 2004. Alexander had insisted that the house would stand as a tribute to the jazz musician via the John Coltrane Cultural Society, which she had co-founded in 1984.

coltranehouse

The John Coltrane House has been in a state of neglect ever since.

During the month of September, Philadelphia hosted a nine-day celebration in honor of Coltrane’s 90th birthday, organized by the Philadelphia Jazz Project, during which the several structural and aesthetic problems of the house were addressed. Nevertheless, Philadelphia Weekly recently reported that Homer Jackson, director of the Philadelphia Jazz Project, was not aware of any plans of restoration.

Philadelphia Weekly also stated the location of the John Coltrane House, largely ignored by commuters and others, as a reason for it being considered as one unworthy of major investment by the city’s preservation community. This would explain why plans of reusing the house as a jazz venue, unveiled in 2013, seem to also have fallen through.

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© 2017 JAZZIZ Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

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