Push is on to save Lynchburg home of Harlem Renaissance poet Anne Spencer

Shaun Spencer-Hester often wondered why the roof of her grandmother’s home was not the vivid shade of red that is Anne Spencer Housecharacteristic of nearby houses.

The answer came after a roofer visited the summit of the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum.

There is, in fact, very little paint on the roof. Instead, “it’s a very pretty shade of rust,” said advisory board member Jane White.

Many may know the story of Anne Spencer — a wife, mother, gardener and Harlem Renaissance poet who called Pierce Street in Lynchburg home — but “people don’t know the story about the leaking pipes and the electric bills and the bad wiring,” said her granddaughter.

Anne Spencer’s home was constructed in 1903 by her husband, Edward Spencer. But after more than a century, the house is feeling the passage of time. The museum operates on an all-volunteer basis. At this time, 100 percent of the museum’s operating budget goes toward repairs, and the museum is seeking help from the public, either through financial or in-kind donations, to help the museum meet its extensive maintenance needs.

“People look at us from the outside … and it’s freshly painted and they come inside and it’s so neat and staged so nicely,” Spencer-Hester said.

“So they see that and it’s like being all dressed up and pretty,” she said.

“But who knows what’s underneath,” White added.

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By Sherese Gore | May 23, 2015

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