Friday, July 18, 2014


We walked by the Langston Hughes house at 20 East 127th yesterday and noticed conditions did not look so great for the historic home.  All of the once verdant vines out front have dried up and now it appears two windows have been broken at some point. There has been somewhat of an effort to protect the interior from the elements but the clear plastic seems to also be falling apart.  This historic townhouse on the cusp of Central and East Harlem has been on and off the market for the past 5 years but for some reason has not sold.  We would love to see the Harlem poet's great house restored in every single way possible since the interior has some complete details within but the brownstone would have to exchange ownership first for that to happen.  Check out our past post for more details: LINK


  1. This represents an affront of the highest order to the memory of Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance! Langston was a man who often times didn't have two nickles to rub together and thus this house was an enormous accomplishment for him. So often we honor his memory through song, literature, historical discussions etc., but we should also honor his memory by wresting his last home from the hands of the current owner & restoring it as a living memorial to Langston in particular and the Harlem Renaissance (1925-1932) in particular. How dare we walk past this house, put it in films, recite his poems publicly and ignore what could be a lasting memorial to him and the Harlem Renaissance.

    One wishes that the Schomburg had the requisite "heft" and the requisite funds to wrest this property from the hands of the present owner and then restore it as a public arts space, and memorial and study hall devoted to the Harlem Renaissance. I point out the Schomburg particularly because the are sponsoring an exhibit about the Harlem Renaissance at that new building on West 155th St. & St. Nicholas Ave. I think Langston's home would have been more appropriate for such an exhibit. But thats just me, 'nuff said!'

  2. There must be some wacky backstory to why this house can't sell. SRO with actual recent tenants perhaps? A seller unable to complete a deal? I tried a few years back and there were definitely people living there, which made it virtually impossible. It appears to be empty for at least the requisite 3 years now. But the house is really great and the block is reasonable. Hopefully before it's too late someone will salvage this great house and historic point.