Monday, September 20, 2010

☞ DWELL: Langston Hughes House Off Market

After dramatically returning last month, the Langston Hughes House at 20 East 127th Street has been pulled off the market after being listed only for 27 days. Based on Streeteasy, the listing was no longer available as of September 14th: LINK. Folks might remember that the 20 foot wide landmark house sat on the market for about 6 months last year at the asking price of $1.2 million and was removed soon after no apparent buyers were found. We reported on the house's return last month at the new price of $1 million and many news sites picked up the story.

Could a quick sale be close at hand? The property has a lot of original detail on the inside but will need a complete overhaul of the infrastructure so maybe a cash buyer came along this time around. Anyone hear anything out there? Stay tuned for there seems to be some sort of story here either way. Read our past posts for more details on Hughes' former East Harlem abode: LINK.


  1. When I was looking for a house they called properties like this one "livable" somehow that made it the same price as a completely renovated home. In Reality this property should be listed lower than a shell since the gutting still needs to be done. I'm sure it has some amazing details but details don't make up for the 5ook price difference between this and a shell. They both need new plumbing, wiring and structure. The only thing salvageable from this property is the wood details. Everything else will need to be replaced. This kind of renovation costs at least 200k a floor and that is the "builder grade" everyone here complains about. Maybe the historical value of this home will justify the price but I wasn't even sure who Langston Hughes was. After a quick Goggle I suspect the average Harlem buyer doesn’t either. I suspect this house is stupidly being taken off the market by owners who think there house will sometime soon be worth as much as it was in 2007.

  2. I hope living in Harlem, people have at least heard of Langston Hughes! ;)

  3. One would hope, wouldn’t one. . .

    The education in this country. . .

  4. You must forgive me I come from the culturally barren land known as Arizona. I know how important a figure Langston Hughes was during the Harlem Renaissance. However I still feel that Langston Hughes lacks recognition with the average buyer. I am going to pay 200k more for this house because Langston Hughes lived here. As a former Harlem realtor I have yet to have a client move here because of the history. That would be great but it’s not happening. People move here because it’s cheap. They can get huge homes for 1/8th the price of Lower Manhattan. If these people renovated they might realistically get close to 2 million. In its present state it appeals to low balling cash buyers and no one else. It would be great if they could make this into a museum which I think is something Harlem actually needs more of but that won’t happen.

  5. Langston Hughes is such an important historical figure for America, not just African Americans, that the house should be landmarked and made into a museum or cultural center.

  6. If my memory serves me correctly that house belonged to Emerson & Toy Harper who bought it in the 40's. Langston moves in somewhere around 1949? and has a suite of rooms (2) on the 3rd floor. Mrs. Harper took in roomers to help pay for the house. Langston had use of the basement as an office and repository for his papers. Mr & Mrs. Harper held Langston in high esteem and actually looked upon him as their son. I believe they were a childless couple.

    Langston would die in 1967 at the French-Polyclinic hospital in mid-town Manhattan while maintaining this residence.

    I know some of this as Mrs Harper was a church-colleague of my grandmothers and they sometimes conversed on the telephone.