WSIC-1950s Sell Off- 41 Bates Street NW

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.

I have looked at 43 Bates St NW and now 41 Bates Street NW and have noticed a pattern so far. The pattern is this, the two flat structure is sold as a group of other Truxton Circle and other DC WSIC properties to three business partners. Those business partners, with a particular lender, would sell 1/2 of a house to buyers. Within a year or so that half was foreclosed upon. If the buyers didn’t face foreclosure they sold the properties back to the surviving original businessmen and their family who then sold the property to George Basiliko, who the Washington Post called a slum lord.

So let’s see the pattern in action:

  • WSIC indirectly transfers the property to (lot 136) Nathan Levin, James B. Evans, and Nathaniel J. Taube in 6/16/1950 in large package
  • Levin, Evans, and Taube sell 1/2 of the property to James W. Morgan 1/26/1951
  • 1/26/1951 Morgan borrows $5,050 from the only trustees I’ve seen in these purchases, Abraham Levin and Robert G. Weightman
  • 12/17/1953 Morgan loses the property via foreclosure
  • Property returns to Levin, Evans and Taube…. normally it goes to the trustees who lent the money
  • 2/9/1954 Levin, Evans & Taube sell half interest of property to Hattie Mae Davis
  • 2/9/1954 Davis borrows $3,037.29 from Levin & Weightman
  • 5/5/1954 Levin, Evans & Taube sell the other half interest to Cornwallis and Vora M. Mitchell
  • 5/5/1954 the Mitchells borrow $2,986.78 from Levin & Weightman
  • Davis loses her half of the property 8/24/1955 to foreclosure
  • No document, but one will assume the foreclosed property returned to the family & business interests of Levin, Evans & Taube
  • 8/5/1959 the family & business interests of Levin, Evans & Taube (Badt, Evans, Taube, Levin and Wagman) sell package of properties to real estate man George Basiliko and his wife
  • 1/8/1965 Mitchell sells the remaining half to Basiliko

Since Cornwallis Mitchell is a unique name I bothered looking him up. In the 1950 census he was a North Carolina born African American man living in an apartment in Shaw with his wife Vera and daughter Alise.  In the 1930s and 1940s he lived at 441 N St NW, Apt 25 with wife Deborah (remarried?). He died in 1958.