This month, the Guilford County Historic Preservation Commission is considering a very notable – if unassuming – house in High Point for a lofty designation as a county landmark.
The place of note is the childhood home of jazz legend John Coltrane.
Coltrane grew up at the home at 118 Underhill Street and acquired his love of music there. He got his start by taking clarinet lessons and he later played in a local band that provided some excellent jazz music to the neighborhood and the city.
An application filed requesting the designation states, “It is during his time here that he takes his first music lesson, begins playing the clarinet, joins a community band, and performs for the first time.”
It goes on to state that the home is not merely where he spent his childhood, but is the place “where his musical journey began.”
Given that not many people from Guilford County achieve world-wide acclaim, Coltrane’s childhood home seems to have a pretty solid claim to the designation. That designation, if granted, will include the home and the .15 acre of property it sits on. The house was built sometime between 1924 and 1929 on land that was purchased by Coltrane’s grandfather a few years earlier.
The recommendation hearing will be at the Historic Preservation Commission’s Tuesday, October 20 meeting.
Proponents of the move point out that much of the original home is intact.
Over the years, some nearby houses have been demolished, but Coltrane’s home is still classified as being a neighborhood setting.
A “landmark” designation is meant for properties in Guilford County that have special historic or architectural significance and contribute to the area’s identity.