Cole Porter Birthplace to Undergo Renovations, Become Museum

News   Cole Porter Birthplace to Undergo Renovations, Become Museum
Composer Cole Porter's 20-room, 150-year-old birthplace in Peru, Indiana, will undergo serious renovations toward the goal of reopening as a museum and bed and breakfast inn, the Associated Press reported Dec. 27.
Cole Porter
Cole Porter Photo by Jean Howard

The Porter home is currently owned by the Ole Olsen Memorial Theater Group, which plans to repair its foundation, reconstruct the four porches, replace wiring and plumbing and install new heating and air-conditioning equipment. According to the AP, the structure had fallen into disuse and was divided into apartments. Two years ago, one of the apartments was discovered to have contained a methamphetamine lab.

On Oct. 30, 2003, an auction resulted in the split ownership of the property. The anomalous sale came about because the songwriter's home sat on two adjacent plots of land, which were auctioned separately. The owner lost the land because of a failure to pay overdue taxes. According to AP, Peru local Brian Boyce came out on top for the first parcel with a proxy bid of $8,000. Boyce was outbid for the second, however, by Michigan native Keith Wegner's $9,000 pledge. Both bidders expressed a desire to have the house restored.

Porter lived at the 102 E. Third St. address until the eighth grade. He was born in an upstairs bedroom on June 9, 1891, to Samuel and Kate Porter.

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