The Nina Simone birthplace in Tryon has been purchased by four artists. The 664-square-foot house has three rooms with memorabilia, including sheet music, an organ, and old furniture, and was being restored somewhat to how it may have looked back in the day. Former owner Kipp McIntyre had been making improvements, hoping to turn the house into a museum before being forced into foreclosure. The house was flipped by the interim owners for $95,000 to conceptualist Adam Pendleton, sculptor and painter Rashid Johnson, collagist and filmmaker Ellen Gallagher, and abstract painter Julie Mehretu. While the artists have not said what they intend to do with the house, town leadership expressed gratitude that members of the creative class would attempt restoration, especially since there was a chance the house could have been torn down. Legendary jazz singer/pianist/activist Simone—born Eunice Waymon in 1933—started playing piano at church. Seeing her potential, neighbors pooled funds to get her lessons from the local teacher, Miss Mazzy. From there the musician went to Asheville to study music and later began singing at a bar in Atlantic City. She changed her name to avoid bringing scandal on her mother, who was a minister. After recording over forty albums, Simone died of cancer at age 70 in France. The Town of Tryon has since dedicated a plaza in her honor.