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). Then there was the odd lucky ones who managed to avoid that fate.
Let’s see what happens with 20 O St NW (Square 0617, lot 180 & 235):
- February 1951 Evans, Levin and Taube sold one-half of 20 O St NW to James E. and Shirley C. Johnson.
- February 1951 the Johnsons borrowed $3,125 from Colonial Investment Co. favorite trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
- February 1951 Evans, Levin, and Taube sold the other half of 20 O St NW to widow Vera Rodgers.
- February 1951 Rodgers borrowed $3,125 from trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
- August 1952 the Johnsons lost their half to foreclosure. The property returned to Evans, Levin and Taube via an auction.
- September 1952 Evans, Levin and Taube sold that half to Hester (unmarried) and Milton (married) Jackson.
- September 1952 the Jacksons borrowed $4,101.83 from Levin and Weightman.
- May 1954, Mrs. Rodgers transferred her half to Lillian M. McGowan who immediately transferred it back to Mrs. Rodgers now Patterson and her new spouse Elmer E. Patterson.
- November 1957, the Jacksons lost their half to foreclosure. The property returned to Evans, Taube, and new partner Harry Badt via an auction.
- November 1957 as part of a larger property package, the Badts (Harry A. and wife Jennie) transfer/sell their interest in 20 O St NW to Nathan Levin’s survivors.
- November 1961, as part of a larger property package, Badt, Evans, Taube, their wives and Levin’s survivors sold 20 O St NW to Sophia and George Basiliko.
- July 1971, as part of a larger property package (document 1971013980) Basiliko sold the property to the Housing System Development and Construction Corp.
- November 1972, as part of a large property package, the Housing System Development and Construction Corp. sold 20 O St NW to Lyda E. and Robert L. Busby and Thomas H. Ryon Management Company.
- May 1978, Mrs. Patterson, a widow again (Elmer died 8/15/1964), sold her half to Jerry W. Wood.
- October 1984, after other owners, Jerry W. Wood bought the other half of 20 O St NW, bringing it under one owner.
Although half of this home wound up in the hands of George Basiliko it did not become part of the DC Redevelopment Land Agency’s portfolio. There were two foreclosures. On the plus side someone managed to hold on to half of the property from 1951-1978.