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Actor Denzel Washington Helps Raise Millions For Transformation Of August Wilson House

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Denzel Washington stopped by the August Wilson House in Pittsburgh's Hill District on Wednesday.

The famous actor has been trying to raise money to save the historic home, and he brought some big news with him during his latest visit.

There's big changes coming to 1727 Bedford Avenue. The house is being transformed from the house where August lived into the August Wilson House.

It'll be home to theatrical productions, exhibits, literary workshops and classes. A place to make sure future generations know what August Wilson stood for.

"It's surreal, being able to cultivate a relationship with a significant donor just caps off this incredibly long journey," said Paul Ellis, Wilson's nephew.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Washington, an Academy Award-winning actor, spent a lot of time in Pittsburgh while filming the movie, "Fences." The words of August Wilson spoke to him so much that he's leading the way to raise money to complete the transformation of the August Wilson Home.

"I love August. He touches my soul, our souls. This is just like coming home to me. I feel so comfortable here," said Washington.

Washington, along with the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, have each committed a million dollars to the project. Financial support has also come from Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee and Shonda Rhimes.

"He would be very proud and humbling. He would be humbled," said Richard Kittel, Wilson's brother.

There were no shovels, or lifting of soil at Wednesday's event. Instead, it was a ground blessing, not the typical ground breaking.

"It starts with August and the wonderful people here and the commitment that we see today to this community, and I'm glad to be a part of that," said Washington.

August Wilson once said, "What I want to do is place the culture of Black America on stage," and the hope for the August Wilson Home is to keep it there.

"We're doing a planning study, and then we officially launch our capital campaign," said Ellis.

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