Harper Lee’s lawyer is planning to bring the author’s beloved novel To Kill A Mockingbird to life by transforming Lee’s hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, into a major tourism destination.
A small coalition, including Lee’s lawyer Tonja Carter, is working to create the “Harper Lee Trail” to honor Lee, who died at 89 in February.
According to The Birmingham News, the trail will include a Harper Lee museum, to be housed in the 1909 building where Lee’s father once practiced law; replicates of three houses inhabited by characters in the book; and more attractions for To Kill a Mockingbird fans. The coalition also plans to refurbish the building where Lee and her sisters lived late in their lives.
George Landegger, a paper mill magnate who is working with Carter on the project, said the group aims to increase visitors to the town from about 30,000 to potentially 250,000 annually.
Lee based To Kill a Mockingbird’s fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, on her own hometown of Monroeville. The Monroe County Courthouse, currently one of the few tourist attractions in the town dedicated to Lee’s legacy, served as the inspiration for the courthouse setting of the famous trial scenes in the novel.
According to Pete Black, a board member of Lee’s non-profit organization, Mockingbird Company, the Harper Lee Trail plan is still in its formative stages. A foundation still needs to be registered in order to fund the project, which is scheduled to roll out starting as early as March and will take years to complete.
“With Ms. Lee’s passing in February we’ve been working with leaders in Monroeville on how do we honor Ms. Lee,” Black told AL.com. “We’ve got big plans, [we’re] working on a big vision.”