On October 9, 2018, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the John and Alice Coltrane Home a National Treasure—a significant milestone for the preservation of a wonderful historic and cultural resource in the Dix Hills suburbs. The National Trust will join in supporting ongoing work with the local community and the Coltrane family to assist the Friends of the Coltrane Home in realizing a shared vision for the Coltrane Home’s future use as a museum and historic site.
The John and Alice Coltrane Home is the nationally significant historic home that speaks strongly to the African American experience during the Civil rights era via the lives of two significant musician-composers. Originally built in 1952, this suburban tract house was purchased by the Coltranes in 1964 as a family home, and would be John Coltrane’s (1926–1967) last place of residence. Some of his most influential pieces were written here, including A Love Supreme (1965), considered by many to be his masterwork. Alice Coltrane also pursued creative activities in their Dix Hills home; her first album, A Monastic Trio (1968), and other works were recorded in the basement studio.
After Alice moved to California with her children in 1973, the house lost its association with the Coltranes and eventually fell into serious decline. Following a decade of vacancy, the property was rediscovered in 2003 with much of its Coltrane-era features intact. Threatened by redevelopment, the newly formed Friends of the Coltrane Home partnered with the Town of Huntington to protect the building from demolition in 2006.
The Friends have successfully stabilized the house and are pursuing plans to restore and interpret the site as a center for music education and the advancement of the Coltrane legacy. A save for this building entails organizational development for the Friends and assemblage of strong supporters to ensure sufficient rehabilitation to allow ongoing public access and programming.
• Grant funding for restoration awarded from New York State, preliminary restoration work should start soon.
• Plans are underway for on-site exhibits, programs, training, and outreach to further the appreciation of American jazz and the Coltrane family’s legacy.
• Informative website about the Coltrane Home is live.
• Listed as one of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places in 2011 by National Trust for Historic Preservation.
• Guest contributor Kathleen Hennessy, a trustee of the Friends of the Coltrane Home, shares some exciting plans for the future of the Coltrane Home on Preservation Long Island’s blog: Educate and Elevate: The John and Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills