RED CLOUD, Neb.- The National Willa Cather Center is celebrating its namesake’s 150th birthday by showing off its new renovation. 

Cather only lived in Red Cloud for about six years, but her influence and impact in Red Cloud has lasted for generations. 

National Willa Cather Center Executive Director Ashley Olson said the house closed in August of last year for much-needed restoration work. 

“It was definitely time to address some differed maintenance and improve the environment in the attic so that we could slow deterioration of the original wallpaper in Willa Cather’s bedroom,” Olson said.

It was the first time since the 1960’s that the house had been given a makeover. Renovations include a new foundation, restored windows, doors, shutters and a new roof. The attic space is now insulated and is climate controlled for the first time.

The upgrades were possible thanks to support from the state and a grant administered by the National Park Service.

According to Olson, around 10,000 people descend upon Red Cloud to visit the historic house every year.

“It's certainly wonderful to have a cultural asset like this especially in a rural community that needs and benefits from the additional dollars that come in as a result of visitors," Olson said. 

Visitors can get a glimpse of some of the actual things that her family used like her desk, the wallpaper and her collection of shells.

Tour guide Rachel Olsen said Cather is someone she admires. 

“She really was sort of just unapologetically herself and her interests and her passions, and her sort of ambitions around becoming a writer and an artist are things that carried through from you know childhood," Olsen said. "Even when she didn’t know she was going to be a writer, her kind of her interest and drive to be somebody great was always there. “

The last phase of the restoration will be in Cather's bedroom. It will begin in March and should be finished in the spring. In total, the cost of the whole restoration will be around $1.2 million. 

People can register for a guided tour but walk-ins are welcome.