$30 Million Indiana Estate Is Gifted To Feinstein’s Songbook Foundation for Museum

The Great American Songbook Foundation, created in 2007 by Grammy-nominated musician and historian Michael Feinstein, is one step closer to having a home of its own. Philanthropist Bren Simon, widow of late real estate mogul Mel Simon, has gifted the entirety of her lavish 107-acre Asherwood estate to the Songbook Foundation, whose mission is to preserve the musical legacy of Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and Hollywood songwriters. Valued at over $30 million, the fully-furnished estate includes a 50,000-square-foot mansion, an 8,000-square-foot clubhouse, a 6,000-square-foot guesthouse, two swimming pools, and two golf courses.

The Songbook Foundation is currently based out of the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana, where Feinstein serves as artistic director. The Center’s Palladium Concert Hall houses the non-profit’s administrative staff and public exhibition space.

Still without a permanent home are the foundation’s archives and library of more than 100,000 items, including personal papers and other pieces from influential performers and songwriters such as The Music Man writer Meredith Willson, “Swinging on a Star” lyricist Johnny Burke, “It Had to Be You” lyricist Gus Kahn, and “Unchained Melody co-author Hy Zaret.

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