September 10, 2010 11:55:00 AM
Tennessee Williams scholars, actors, and even some friends and family of the famed playwright have been gathering in Columbus this week for the tribute and tour held each year in the Pulitzer-winner''s honor.
While most are familiar with Williams'' works, like the rest of us, they''re getting reacquainted with his first home.
The Tennessee William Home and Welcome Center, which is undergoing a top-to-bottom renovation through a state historic preservation grant and Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau funds, is sporting a new, eye-catching paint scheme throughout.
The pale yellow and sky blue have been replaced with a bold palette of reds, gold ands greens -- topped with a cayenne-pepper roof.
The colors aren''t original to the house, which was built in 1875 and was once the rectory for St. Paul''s Episcopal Church where Williams'' grandfather, Walter Dakin, was the rector. But they''re original to the Victorian time period, and were chosen with the input of Roger Moss, a nationally renowned historic preservationist in Philadelphia, Pa., whose expertise is historic paint colors.
Like many things in Columbus, many people we''ve heard from seem to love it or hate it. It''s jarring, some say. The green looks like baby food. The colors don''t match.
Count us among those who like the change. The old colors were overly soft -- almost to the point of camouflage. The new house demands you pay attention.
Inside and out, the home will offer something new to locals and visitors alike. The home will feature a gift shop, stocked with Mississippi authors'' works and other items, and increased space for exhibits and gatherings.
Many may find the new colors take some getting used to. But we''re proud of downtown''s new showplace, and look forward to its vibrant next act.