Wednesday, August 24, 2016


An article about how crowd funding has taken off to rent out the Langston Hughes House at 20 East 127th Street as a cultural center have many excited but nobody has really asked why the historic brownstone is empty in the first place.  As CNN mentions, houses in the area are worth millions  but this is not a fixed up home which might be one of the main issues that it is empty.  We have walked inside the townhouse several years ago and a lot of original details are intact but the stairwell has settled greatly and it is unclear how stable the infrastructure is.  How long will it also take to change the C of O?
Another question to be asked is that if the home could be sold for $1.5-$1.8 million or so (based on what SROs are going for that need a lot of work) why would a three year rental lease be made out to a new organization that has no history of dealing with the complicated architectural or legal issues that might be at hand?  The concept is great but this is not the first time a renter tried to make the building accessible to the public as a non profit cultural center.  Back in 2008, the previous owner of the address (who reportedly has now passed away) sued and evicted a past tenant because they were doing such a thing as reported in the Village Voice: LINK

We also posted a feature 4 years ago on how the brownstone located just east of Fifth Avenue did not sell for $1 million when it was up on the market even though there were reports of a contract being made out.  One comment on that particular post might be the most telling about the whole situation and is something the general press has not discussed: LINK

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