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Friday
Aug032018

Levon Helm's childhood home added to Arkansas Register of Historic Places

Ebet Roberts/RedfernsThe Band's music was steeped in the sounds of the American South, but only one of the group's members actually hailed from the region: Arkansas native Levon Helm. Now the late singer/drummer's childhood home has been added to Arkansas' Register of Historic Places, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.

The home, where Helm lived with his family from 1941 to about 1946, was originally located in the small community of Turkey Scratch, but was moved several years ago to the town of Marvell, eight miles to the south.

According to the newspaper, the campaign to acknowledge the residence was spearheaded by Ann Ballard Bryan, an interior design instructor at the University of Central Arkansas and a huge Band fan. Last year, she enlisted some of her students to design a museum, sound stage and cafe on the lot adjacent to Helm's house, and to draft a nomination for the home to be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

However, the house wasn't eligible for the National Register since it'd been moved from its original location.  The nomination was then revised and submitted for consideration by the state's register. On Wednesday, a review board voted unanimously to add the home to the Arkansas Register, a spokesman for Arkansas Historic Preservation Program told the Democrat-Gazette.

The home is currently being restored with funds raised by a group called the Levon Helm Legacy Project, which also plans to have a bronze bust of Levon installed at the site.

Legacy Project organizer Joe Griffith told the newspaper he isn't sure whether the designs of Bryan's students will be utilized for the memorial, noting that it would depend on funding.

"We're just brainstorming," he said. "We're still a pretty good distance down the road."

Helm died of cancer at age 71 in 2012.

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