Faulkner's Home Rowan Oak To Close For Repairs

OXFORD, Miss. -- The home of Nobel prize winning author William Faulkner will be closed to spectators later this month in preparation for renovation.

University of Mississippi officials will close the main house of Rowan Oak from Dec. 21 through June 2002 to accommodate the work.

"We needed to close the house because there's just too much work going to be done,'' said curator William Griffith.

The grounds and outbuildings, including the recently renovated barn and servants' quarters, will remain open to the public.

An estimated 20,000 people visited the antebellum home this year. Rowan Oak is designated both a National Historic Landmark and a National Literary Landmark.

Built by a pioneer settler in the 1840s and situated in a grove of oak and cedar trees, Rowan Oak was purchased by Faulkner in 1930 and became his refuge from the world until his death in 1962. Ten years later, the university purchased the house and its 31-acre grounds from the author's daughter, Jill Faulkner Summers of Virginia.

The work to be done over the next several months includes installation of an upgraded security system, enhanced plumbing and reinforced structural supports. It is the first phase of a $500,000 project funded in 1998 by the Mississippi Legislature.