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.
Currently, 18 O Street NW has been divided into condos and there isn’t a convenient DCRA photo from 2004 to look at. But thankfully the lot next door, currently lot 237, for 16 O St NW. From the 1909 map it appears 18 O Street NW is on lot 181. I am guessing 18 O may have also been lot 236.
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 18 O St NW:
- February 1951 Evans, Levin and Taube sold one-half of 18 O St NW to Almetha S. and Joseph Miller.
- February 1951 the Millers borrowed $3,125 from Colonial Investment Co. favorite trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
- March 1951 Evans, Levin, and Taube sold the other half of 18 O St NW to Bessie O. and Leroy Howard.
- March 1951 the Howards borrowed $3,125 from trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
- June 1956 the Howards lost their half to foreclosure. The property returned to Evans, Taube, and new partner Harry Badt via an auction.
- May 1957 the Millers sold their half to Badt, Evans, and Taube.
- June 1956 (recorded August 1958) as part of a larger property package, the Badts (Harry A. and wife Jennie) transfer/sell their interest in 18 O St NW to Nathan Levin’s survivors.
- March 1959 the Millers were released from their mortgage obligations.
- March 1959 as part of a larger property package, Badt, Evans, Taube, their wives and Levin’s survivors sold 18 O St NW to Sophia and George Basiliko.
- July 1971 the Basilikos sold the whole of 18 O St NW to the Housing System Dev. and Construction Corporation.
I don’t know what connection, if any the Housing System Dev. and Construction Corp had to DC’s RLA. What I can see in the record is that the property somehow still required Basiliko’s involvement and they were condemned at a point. So whatever supposed construction that was supposed to take place, probably didn’t.
Okay let’s get out the bingo card. Halves of one property sold to two separate households, check. The sole lenders were Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman, check. Foreclosure, check. Sold to George Basiliko, check. Sold to DC RLA? Nope.