The Washington Sanitary Improvement Company (WSIC) was a rental entity that built a number of homes in the Truxton Circle neighborhood in the late 19th and early 20th century. Around 1950, they sold off their inventory to Nathaniel J. Taube, Nathan Levin and James B. Evans as the Colonial Investment Co. for $3 million dollars. In an Evening Star article regarding the end of WSIC, the new owners expressed their intention to sell the rentals to Black home buyers. Some of those sales worked out okay and others, not so much.
There was a pattern I noticed and so let’s look at the what happens from the sale from Evans, Levin and Taube to buyers. Sometimes it ends up in the hands of landlord George Basiliko or the DC Redevelopment Land Agency or freedom.
- 1/26/1951 Evans, Levin and Taube sell One-Half of 14 Bates St NW to Thomas J. and Julia T. Harp.
- 1/26/1951 the Harps borrow $3,000 from Evans, Levin and Taube’s lender, trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
- 1/26/1951 Evans, Levin and Taube sell the remaining One-Half interest of 14 Bates St NW to John A. and Dora Elizabeth Hawkins.
- 1/26/1951 the Hawkins borrow $3,000 from trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
- 4/07/1960 the Hawkins lose their home to foreclosure and ownership returns to Evans and Taube and new partner Harry A. Badt.
- 5/18/1960 Badt sells/transfers interest in the property to Ruth Wagman, and Lawrence, Myron and Rose Levin.
- 1/5/1962 That half interest is sold as part of a larger package to Sophia and George Basiliko.
- 11/30/1967 the Harps are released from their debt.
- 12/09/1971 the Harps and Basiliko sell 14 Bates St NW to the District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency.
I wonder if the Harps sold willingly or were forced to sell their home.
The Harps were African American. In the 1950 census Thomas and Julia lived at 2651 Nichols(?) Ave Apt D in DC with their 4 year old daughter Thomasine. He worked in a cafeteria and she worked as a clerk for the Navy department.