WSIC-1950 Sell Off- 1531 3rd 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.

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).

photo of property

Let’s see what happened at 1531 3rd St NW:

  • December 1950 (recorded Jan 18, 1951) Evans, Levin and Taube sold one-half of 1531 3rd St NW to William A. and Frances Ethel Guss.
  • December 1950 (recorded Jan 1951) the Guss’ borrowed $3,750 from Colonial Investment Co. favorite trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
  • January 1951 (recorded 2/14/1951) Evans, Levin, and Taube sold the other half of 1531 3rd St NW to Camille G. and William T. Stovall.
  • Jan 1951 the Stovalls borrow $3,900 from trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
  • Sadly in November 1955 the Stovalls lose their half to foreclosure. There was an auction and Evans, Levin and Taube got it back.
  • November 1961 (recorded 1/5/1962), as part of a larger package the Colonial Investment team (Evans, Badt, their wives, and Levin’s survivors) sell their interest in 1531 3rd St NW to Sophia and George Basiliko.
  • December 1961 the Guss loan was released and they owned their half free and clear.
  • January 1972 the DC Redevelopment Land Agency purchased/ obtained all of 1531 3rd St NW from George Basiliko, and the Guss survivors.

Frances Guss died April 6, 1955 and William A. Guss died September 2, 1969. Other signatories, besides the Basilikos, were Elaine F. Barber, her husband Cornell D. Barber, Melvin Guss,  Phyllis Robinson, and her husband Benjamin F. Robinson.

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