WSIC-1950 Sell Off- 201 P 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.

photo of property

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 201 P St NW:

  • December 1950 (recorded Jan 18, 1951) Evans, Levin and Taube sold one-half of 201 P St NW to Catherine Estep Ferguson.
  • December 1950 (recorded Jan 18, 1951) Mrs. Ferguson borrowed $3,425 from Colonial Investment Co. favorite trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
  • December 1950 (recorded Jan 18, 1951) Evans, Levin, and Taube sold the other half of 201 P St NW to Paul L. and his wife Johnnie C. Wright.
  • December 1950 the Wrights borrowed $3,375 from trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
  • December 1965 the Wrights were released from their debts and obligations and owned their half free and clear.
  • November 1966 Ms. Ferguson’s mortgage was cleared.
  • December 1966 the Wrights financed a new boiler with Washington Gas, a debt that was due to mature in 1970.

This transaction went as well as it could. No foreclosures. For some reason there was a Basiliko document but I could not link a deed to him for this property. So I ignored it. And if no Basiliko, there is no DC RLA or any other DC government scheme to rehabilitate the property.

In 2012, the property was united under one owner. According to that document the Wrights and Ms. Ferguson were all dead and their estates sold their halves. Paul Wright died 1952. Johnnie Mae Wright died in March 2005, Herbert Champion and Dorothy Simpson Dickerson represented her estate.  Catherine Estep Ferguson, later Catherine Olivia Milner died January 26, 2005. Her estate was represented by son Michael James Milner and companion, Paul Woods.

Sometimes due to a bad read by the OCR or fat fingers the wrong document shows up out of no where. There was a 1953 document I ignored because neither party was on the deed. The borrowers borrowed 804.86 for work done by the Consolidated Engr. & Distr. Co, Inc. at 201A P Street NW. So this and the Basiliko document are the two that made no sense in the history of this house.