The Washington Sanitary Improvement Company (WSIC) was a late 19th century charitable capitalism experiment that ended in the 1950s. This blog started looking at the homes that were supposed to be sold to African American home buyers, after decades of mainly renting to white tenants.
Looking at WSIC properties they tend to have a pattern where the properties were sold to a three business partners, Nathaniel J. Taube, Nathan Levin and James B. Evans as the Colonial Investment Co. for $3 million dollars. Those partners sold to African American buyers. There was usually a foreclosure. Then the property wound up in the hands of George Basiliko and or the DC Redevelopment Land Agency (RLA). Then there was the odd lucky ones who managed to avoid that fate.
Let’s see what happens with 219 P St NW:
- December 1950 (recorded Jan 18, 1951) Evans, Levin and Taube sold one-half of 219 P NW to Ethel M. and Jacob S. Miller.
- December 1950 (recorded Jan 18, 1951) the Millers borrowed $3,250 from Colonial Investment Co. favorite trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
- February 1951 Evans, Levin, and Taube sold the other half of 219 P St NW to Arthur and Blumne Lipscomb.
- Feb 1951 Mitchell borrowed $3,400 from trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
- January 1952 the Lipscombs transferred their half to Margaret Johnson who transferred it back to Arthur Lipscomb and Blumer Whitehead, who I will assume is the same person as Blumne Lipscomb.
- October 1961 the Millers are released from their mortgage, owning their half free and clear.
- April 1962 the Lipscomb mortgage is released.
- August 1970, Shellie F, Bowers administrator for the estate of Henry A. Lipscomb sold his interest to Elizabeth Edwards.
- August 1988, Elizabeth Edwards was noted to have a 1/4 interest in 219 P St, sold her interest, as well as the heir-at-law of Blumer Whitehead (died 6/30/1985) to Freda D. and Junella M. Gaines.
I have no idea what happened to the Millers. It’s safe to assume they died. They just disappeared. Junella A. Gaines was the heir of the Millers as there is a water sewer lien sent to them in 1986, two years before the other half of the house was sold her. There is a 2002 Quit Claim Deed stating that the Gaines were heirs of the Millers.
As we can see from the 2004 photo above, the house was abandoned and vacant in total. The city condemned the property in October of 2004 when it was owned by FDG Funding Services.