From a press release from Project Homecoming:
Project Homecoming along with Tipitina’s Foundation and the United Way will dedicate the newly renovated family home of music legend Professor Longhair. The dedication will take place Friday, February 21, from 2:00-4:00 PM at 1738 Terpsichore Street (near Barrone). The ceremony will mark the completion of a massive renovation project that has been more than two years in the making.
Professor Longhair ... owned only one home in his lifetime. The two-story house remained home to his family after his death in 1980, but was heavily damaged in Hurricane Katrina. His daughter, Pat Byrd, attempted to restore the home after the disaster, but contractor fraud left her drained of resources and forced her to look to friends and family for housing for her and her young son, Ardell.
Steve Armbruster, an old friend of Professor Longhair initiated the efforts to renovate the home. Mr. Armbruster is also known for being a founding member of Tipitina’s when the club was established as a place for Fess to perform. Tipitina’s Foundation teamed up with Project Homecoming and the United Way of Southeast Louisiana to rebuild Fess’ house so that his daughter and grandson could return home.
With the support of the City of New Orleans Office of Community Development through HOME funds and architect Rick Fiefield, the extensive renovation project was completed in a little over a year. More than 140 volunteers from around the country invested over 4,678 hours to lend a hand in this historic renovation.
Today’s event will feature a ribbon cutting ceremony with representation from all partners involved and a performance by The Stooges Brass Band. Immediately following the ceremony, guests are invited to tour the home, which will become the primary residence for Longhair’s daughter and grandson, as well as a Fess shrine, which will display artifacts from the late musician private collection for public viewing. The public is invited to attend.