Cole Porter's Childhood Home to Become Museum and Bed & Brea

According to an Associated Press article, the Peru, Indiana home in which legendary Broadway songwriter Cole Porter was born will undergo renovations and then become a museum and bed and breakfast inn.

"The 1860s-era house, which has about 21 rooms, had fallen into disrepair over the years. It had been split into several apartments, and police found a methamphetamine lab in one of the apartments two years ago," states the article. The Ole Olsen Memorial Theater Group, who now owns the house, plans to repair its foundations, rebuild four porches, replace wiring and plumbing, and install heat and air conditioning.

Nearly $52,000 has already been spent into turning the house, where Porter lived until the age of 10, into a museum/bed and breakfast; the final estimate for the transformation is $105,000. "The museum plans to sell fudge made with recipes from the now-closed Arnold's Candies of Peru. At his shows, Porter gave away boxes of the candy as presents."

Before The Ole Olsen Memorial Theater Group gained ownership of the house, it had been split by Brian Boyce and Keith Wegner. Sitting on adjacant plots of land, the house went up for auction after the previous owner neglected to pay taxes. Boyce paid $8,000 for his half of the land (and house), while Wegner paid $9,000.

Porter was born on June 9th, 1891 and died on October 15th, 1964. The composer/lyricist, whose songs remain popular for their sophisticated wit, sensuous melodies and heartfelt emotion, wrote the music and lyrics of dozens of Broadway shows. Among the most enduring of his musicals are Anything Goes, Can-Can and Kiss Me, Kate, while others included Gay Divorce, Leave it to Me, Du Barry Was a Lady, Mexican Hayride, Out of This World and Silk Stockings. Porter, who also wrote movie musicals such as High Society and Les Girls, was recently played by Kevin Kline in the movie musical biopic DeLovely.


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