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 were the odd lucky ones who managed to avoid that fate.
Let’s see what happens with 49 Bates St NW:
- December 1950 (recorded Jan 26, 1951) Evans, Levin and Taube sold one-half of 49 Bates NW to Alberta T. and Edward Simms.
- December 1950 (recorded Jan 26, 1951) the Simms borrowed $2,900 from Colonial Investment Co. favorite trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
- January 1951 Evans, Levin, and Taube sold the other half of 49 Bates St NW to Clara and John Walker.
- Jan 1951 the Walkers borrowed $2,900 from trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
- June 1958 the Simms lost their half to foreclosure and their half returned to Colonial Inv. (new partner Harry A. Badt, Evans and Taube) via an auction.
- June 1958, as part of a larger property sale, Harry and wife Jennie Badt sold/transferred their interest in the property to Nathan Levin’s survivors.
- June 1959, as part of a larger property package, Badt, Evans, Taube, the Levin survivors and their spouses, sold their half interest in 49 Bates St NW to Sophia and George Basiliko.
- August 1962, the Walkers were released from their mortgage.
- December 1978 George Basiliko sold his half to Karen I. Jackson and Willie Joyner.
- May 1979 John Walker (Clara not mentioned) added his daughter Magnolia Johnnie Mae Walker to the deed.
Eventually both halves came under one owner in 1999. I prefer to end these histories in the 1970s and 1980s.
Does 49 Bates follow the usual WSIC house history? Sorta yes. There was a foreclosure and part of it was owned by George Basiliko. However, it was not owned by the DC Redevelopment Land Agency nor any of its private partners.
Since I have a little time, let’s look at John Walker. He shows up in the 1950 census. He was a South Carolina born African American janitor working at the Deptartment of Agriculture. Clara appears to have been a housewife and his them 22 year old daughter Magnolia was a typist at the Pentagon.