The John and Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills is getting a little help from an old friend.
The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant through an affiliate of the National Trust for Historic Preservation to the home where jazz saxophone legend John Coltrane created his masterpiece, "A Love Supreme," in 1964.
The grant is part of $150,000 from the Gardiner Foundation to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. The grant is aimed at supporting the preservation, growth and sustainability of two African American historic places in the Long Island region. The other historic home receiving a grant is the Lewis H. Latimer House in Flushing, Queens.
Steve Fulgoni, president of the nonprofit Friends of the Coltrane Home that owns the house, said the group has worked hard to be worthy of such grants and thanked the Gardiner Foundation and the National Trust for its support.
"We’ll use the money possibly for fundraising, or to hire a consultant for outreach," Fulgoni said. "It won’t necessarily be used for bricks and mortar, so to speak."
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places.
The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a multiyear initiative of the National Trust in partnership with other nonprofits and partners, with the goal of elevating the stories and places of African American achievement and activism.
"The gift was divided in thirds, $50k each to the Coltrane house, Latimer house and the Action Fund," Brenda Jones, senior director of public affairs for the National Trust, which is home of the Action Fund, wrote in an email.
The National Trust has awarded the Coltrane home approximately $250,000 over the years and in 2018 designated it a national treasure.
"The National Trust doesn’t give us money directly, but they give us indirect support through the staff, guidance and administrative help, and we have been recipient of consultants who have contracted with the Trust for services for us," Fulgoni said. "We’re very thankful."
The property was purchased in 2005 by the Town of Huntington, which has designated it a passive park.
Friends of the Coltrane Home has completed extensive mold remediation in recent years. The home was opened to limited, invitation-only tours in 2019.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Coltrane Home members worked with multiple consultants via remote meetings to advance plans for the property. Fulgoni said one of the projects was the development of a comprehensive landscape plan.
"It will be beautiful space where from the street it will still look like the Coltrane home from the 1970s, and in the back we’ll have meditative gardens, walking paths, things like that."
He said also completed during the pandemic and shutdown were master and financial plans developed to help guide the group once the home opens.
"The basis of what we do will be education, outreach to the schools," Fulgoni said. "It’s always going to have that essence of a historic home: very limited visitors, open only a few days a week."
The Coltrane family lived in the house from 1964 to 1973. In addition to being the place where John Coltrane penned his most notable composition, another icon of the genre, harpist Alice Coltrane, recorded her first five albums there, including “A Monastic Trio” recorded in 1968.
The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, established in 1987, primarily supports the study of Long Island history and its role in the American experience.