The current estimate on restoring the house at 1422 Pierce St. stands at more than $800,000.
“We’ve been marketing, fundraising, trying to find someone who cared enough about this history to provide the money to get this restored,” Lange said. “The numbers, the estimates are pretty high.”
Lange said the house will need lead and asbestos abatement, new electrical and plumbing systems as well as basement and roof work.
The interior, according to the application for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, is the standard American Foursquare style with an entry hall and living room across the front and the dining room and kitchen across the rear. The second floor features two bedrooms and a bathroom, and two more bedrooms were crafted from attic space.
The interior features hardwood flooring, molded baseboards, picture molding and five paneled doors with transoms above. The fireplaces featured a simple mantle with a curved shelf supported by round pilasters.
Johnson owned the house from 1933 until his death in 1971 at age 72. The home and tennis court were left to a nurse from his practice, Erdice Creecy, who lived in the home for about 25 years. The house was deeded to the Whirlwind Johnson Foundation in 2012.
“We want to restore the house to its original condition, but obviously better, with new plumbing and lighting,” Lange said. “And then the goal will be to really restart the program that my grandfather initiated, which is having a handful of kids come down to Lynchburg, and train and compete across the country. … When you think about the fact that Arthur Ashe won the U.S. Open in 1968 and no African American male has done that since, my grandfather would be pretty upset if he were still alive.”
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