Actor Dick Van Dyke steps in to save his childhood home

FILE - In thisThis July 2, 2015 file photo shows the childhood home of actor Dick Van Dyke in Danville, Ill. The 89-year-old actor took to Twitter this week to call attention to the Danville home he and brother Jerry lived in during high school after relocating from Missouri. The star of "Mary Poppins" and television's "The Dick Van Dyke" show recalled the "happy memories drifting around in there" in a tweet to his 85,200 followers. Van Dyke is taking steps to save the structure, which was slated for demolition. (Tracy Moss/News-Gazette via AP, File)
FILE - In thisThis July 2, 2015 file photo shows the childhood home of actor Dick Van Dyke in Danville, Ill. The 89-year-old actor took to Twitter this week to call attention to the Danville home he and brother Jerry lived in during high school after relocating from Missouri. The star of "Mary Poppins" and television's "The Dick Van Dyke" show recalled the "happy memories drifting around in there" in a tweet to his 85,200 followers. Van Dyke is taking steps to save the structure, which was slated for demolition. (Tracy Moss/News-Gazette via AP, File)

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) – Actor Dick Van Dyke is taking steps to save his childhood home in central Illinois, which was slated for demolition.

News stories about the threat to the two-story home in Danville, condemned because of its tumbledown condition, reached the 89-year-old actor during the summer. He announced over the weekend that the house will be restored as headquarters for a new foundation to provide scholarships to accomplished young performers.

Organizers of the Dick Van Dyke Foundation hope to establish a museum in the home where Van Dyke and brother Jerry lived during high school after the family relocated from Missouri.

After learning of the house’s dilapidated state, the star of “Mary Poppins” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show” recalled the “happy memories drifting around in there” in a tweet to his tens of thousands of followers.

When the city condemned the home in December, officials didn’t know the Van Dyke connection, Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said in July. The property’s last owner died in 2011.

Lance Kirkland, Dick Van Dyke Foundation board president, said in a news release that the organization is working with Todd Regan, executive director of the Walt Disney Birthplace, to launch the new foundation, which will seek nonprofit status.

Van Dyke and his wife, Arlene, “look forward to working with the community of Danville to inspire the town’s young talent to follow in Dick and Jerry’s footsteps,” Kirkland said in the news release. “The foundation hopes to quickly expand its reach to provide support to young singers, dancers and actors across the country.”

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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