Less than one year after Andy Griffith’s death, his widow intends to raze the house where he once lived with his family. According to friends, Griffith had hoped the house would be turned into a museum.
Cindi Griffith received a demolition permit from Dare County on Monday. The house that she intends to tear down is not the large one that she and Andy built recently, but a smaller one on Roanoke Island that Andy Griffith bought in the 1950’s.
Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long, whose parents were friends with Andy, recalls a conversation he had with Griffith in 2007 in which Griffith mentioned his hope that the house could be preserved as a museum.
Edward Greene, 88, was a friend of Andy's and owns an antique and gift shop in Manteo where Andy bought items for the home. He recalled visiting Griffith's house several times, which he describes as “very comfortable, but not a flashy house.” According to Greene, Andy Griffith acquired the house in the late 50’s as a home for his family on the North Carolina coast. He said that the Griffith family “lived more in Southern California, but was usually [on Roanoke Island] in the summer time. They spent a great deal of time there.”
Greene also recalled that the house was “nicely furnished with art antiques and memorabilia that reminded him of his hometown,” Mt. Airy. It is his understanding that Griffith would have enjoyed seeing his house be turned into a museum. “A lot of people in the community are keeping their fingers crossed that she will not tear it down,” he said.
Attempts to reach Cindi Griffith for comment were unsuccessful.