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1st home of Tennessee Williams getting bronze statue of him

November 13, 2021 GMT

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — The first home of Tennessee Williams will undergo restoration, and a new life-size bronze statue of the playwright will be installed out front.

WCBI-TV reported that the Tennessee Williams Home and Welcome Center has been awarded two grants from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Mississippi Hills Heritage Area. The Victorian-era house is the headquarters for tourism promotion in Columbus, Mississippi.

The grants will go toward repairs and renovation, including plasterwork inside and repainting outside.

A longtime educator, Dixie Butler, is paying to commission the bronze statue. The CEO of Visit Columbus, Nancy Carpenter, said the artwork could draw in visitors.

“We think that it’s going to allow people to drive up to the Tennessee Williams House Museum and Welcome Center ... get out of their car, and come and take a picture like this has been done in Oxford and other places, and then they will decide, ‘I think we’ll shop a little, or maybe we can eat,’” Carpenter said.

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Oxford, Mississippi, has a statue of novelist William Faulkner seated on a bench on the town square.

Renovations of the Tennessee Williams home are expected to start in a few months. Work on the statue could take about a year.

Born as Thomas Lanier Williams in 1911, he spent part of his childhood in Columbus and Clarksdale, Mississippi, before his family moved to St. Louis. He lived in New Orleans as an adult. The Pulitzer Prize winner’s plays include “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “The Glass Menagerie” and “Streetcar Named Desire.”