Saving Coltrane’s trail of homes: More hope than action

“In 1999, the Strawberry Mansion [a Philadelphia neighborhood] row home of jazz legend John Coltrane was declared a National Historic Landmark, which ultimately commemorated where one of the most important jazz musicians in history lived and worked from 1952-58.

“In 2012, efforts to restore the property with hopes of using it as a museum or center for jazz studies were in high gear….

“But sadly the Coltrane House today is vacant, in disrepair and largely ignored. Any interest in giving the place where the genius of ’Trane blossomed its due has arrived only in the form of empty aspirations….”

— From “Coltrane Crumbles: The jazz legend’s neglected house in Philly” by Bruce Klauber in Philadelphia Weekly (Nov. 2)

Remarkably, the Philadelphia row house is only one of four Coltrane residences that have survived, however tenously.

There’s the one in Dix Hills, N.Y., where he spent his last years, now awaiting conversion into a cultural center. 

There’s the one in High Point, where he lived as a child and teenager, now awaiting conversion into a museum.

And there’s the one in Hamlet, where he was born, now converted from a two-story hotel into a one-story NAACP headquarters.