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Denzel Washington Launches August Wilson House Renovation

august_wilson_house_hill_district.jpg
Beth J. Harpaz
/
AP
This Feb. 17, 2017 photo shows images in the windows of the August Wilson House in Pittsburgh. Wilson lived in the upstairs apartment at the house from his birth in 1945 until 1958 with his mother and siblings.

Actor Denzel Washington has helped mark the start of renovations at playwright August Wilson's childhood home in Pittsburgh.

The Tribune-Review reports Washington headlined a ceremony at the house Wednesday. The actor led a $5 million fundraising effort to restore it. Renovations are to be completed in 2020, when the August Wilson House is to become a center for art and culture.

Washington directed a 2016 movie production of "Fences," filmed the movie in Pittsburgh and plans to film other Wilson plays. He won a Tony in 2010 for his portrayal of protagonist Troy Maxson in the Broadway revival of "Fences."

Paul Ellis, Wilson's nephew, spearheaded the effort to restore the building to its 1950s-era look, matching how it appeared when Wilson lived there with his mother and five siblings.

Wilson died in 2005.