May is Historic Preservation Month. This year’s theme is People Saving Places. In Philadelphia, four people are ripping each other apart in court filings while the John Coltrane House continues to deteriorate. It’s particularly disheartening that Ravi and Oran Coltrane have dragged the estate of their father’s beloved “Cousin Mary,” Mary L. King, into the courtroom drama.
I successfully nominated the Coltrane House for listing on Pennsylvania At Risk 2020. I sounded the alarm to raise the specter of an Act 135 conservatorship. Instead of reaching out to me, the defendants, the daughters of the deceased property owner of record, and Strawberry Mansion Community Development Corporation used the renewed focus on the National Historic Landmark to raise money for the proposed John Coltrane House Museum and Cultural Arts Center.
Ravi and Oran are using their fundraising against them claiming the $855,000 raised is “part of their plans to profit from the Coltrane House.” At the same time, John Coltrane’s sons cite my work to dispute the defendants’ counterclaim for $220,877.11 for “the expenses [Aminta Weldon] and her parents have incurred in maintaining, renovating and insuring the property.” They question “whether the purported expenses even satisfied the basic upkeep of the Coltrane House.”
This increasingly nasty family feud is in the name of preserving the John Coltrane House.
To catch up on the drama, click here.