The Central California Music Association has bought the Bob Wills house for $1 from Fresno homebuilder Granville Homes.
The group, a new nonprofit led by President Lance Tullis, plans to have the one-story wood-frame house moved from Clinton and Armstrong avenues in Fresno to a 20-acre property less than 15 miles away in Prather. The move is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday.
"Bob Wills was a major contributor to western country music," Tullis said. "We'd like to open (the house) up as a museum of country music in the foothills."
Granville wanted to raze the house, which is falling apart and has problems such as bee infestation, asbestos and lead paint, to build a housing project in its place.
But the city's Historic Preservation Committee intervened to preserve the home where Wills — the king of western swing — and his family lived in the 1940s.
Granville in turn offered to sell the house if the buyer moves it at no expense to the developer.
Tullis answered the call by forming the association and then starting a campaign called "Raise the Roof" to raise the $75,000 needed to move the house and restore it.
The first fundraiser on Saturday was attended by Wills' daughter, Carolyn, Tullis said. For more information or to help, visit centralcalmusic.com.
Downtown art complex to open in Fresno
A new artist venue is getting ready to open in downtown Fresno.
The M Street Arts Complex, a collaboration between local artists and Fresno homebuilder Darius Assemi of Granville, will have its grand opening Saturday in conjunction with its first exhibition.
The complex was built in an old warehouse space at 1419 M St. that was formerly occupied by Big3D, a company that specializes in large-format printing. Granville bought the property a few years ago with plans to convert it into commercial, retail and office space.
But the plans changed and an idea to create gallery space and artists studios took its place. The 10,000-square-foot complex has a large gallery, five galleries with attached private studios, three warehouse-style spaces with roll-up doors, and seven other studios.
The event will include a ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. followed by the unveiling of two public art installations. The exhibition, "Spectacle, A Closer Look at Fresno," highlights the work of 13 artists. The event is free to the public.
Last chance to see St. Jude Dream Home
The St. Jude Dream Home in Clovis will be open for viewing one last time this weekend before it is raffled off for charity.
The 3,300-square-foot home in De Young Properties' CountryCourt community, at Gettysburg and Armstrong avenues, will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The $100 tickets, for a chance to win the house, are available until all tickets are sold or up to Nov. 10 when the drawing will be held on KMPH (Channel 26.1).