- Associated Press - Monday, April 27, 2015

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The inside of a historic home once belonging to a famous ragtime pianist in Columbia is being restored with some of its original fixtures.

Workers painted the walls of the J.W. “Blind” Boone Home on Wednesday as they prepared to reinstall the home’s original staircase and fireplace. Work is also being done to restore the home’s flooring.

The Columbia Missourian (https://bit.ly/1DpQA0P ) reports the restoration aims to stay true to the Victorian period with furniture that matches the era, such as lighting and curtains.

But it would’ve been too difficult for the city to find wallpaper and decorations that reflect the home in its earliest state, said Matt Boehner, senior parks planner for the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department.

“This is a way to popularize and call attention to an incredible structure,” said Lucille Salerno, a board member for the Boone Heritage Foundation, which has been working with Boehner’s department on the restoration.



The property, which was acquired by Columbia in 2000, sat untouched for years until city funds were used to paint the outside of the home in 2009.

The city will maintain ownership of the property, but it will be managed by the J.W. “Blind” Boone Foundation after the restoration is complete.

Nearly $327,000 has been set aside by the city for the remaining work, but Boehner expects the project will wrap up under its budget. The home is expected to be fully restored by early summer.

“Our goal is to get the house to a functional state that the foundation can use,” Boehner said.

The foundation also will be responsible for buying furniture and putting the finishing touches on landscaping in the yard. Officials hope to collect funds allowing them to purchase fixtures from the Victorian era through grants and donations.

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Information from: Columbia Missourian, https://www.columbiamissourian.com

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