WSIC-1950 Sell Off- 224 Bates 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 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 were the odd lucky ones who managed to avoid that fate.

Let’s see what happens with 224 Bates St NW:

  • December 1950 (recorded Jan 18, 1951) Evans, Levin and Taube sold one-half of 224 Bates NW to Lillian M. Barnes and Margaret Nick.
  • December 1950 (recorded Jan 18, 1951) Barnes and Nick borrowed $2,525 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 224 Bates St NW to Bernice E. and Harry B. Spencer.
  • December 1950 (recorded Jan 18, 1951) the Spencers borrowed $2,525 from trustees Abraham H. Levin and Robert G. Weightman.
  • June 1952, Nick and Barnes transferred their half to Sandolphra Robinson who immediately transferred it to Charles T. and Liilian M. Warren. I suspect Lillian was Lillian Barnes.
  • September 1961 Barnes and Nick were released from their mortgage.
  • October 1962, the Spencers sold their half to the Warrens.
  • March 1964, the Warrens sold 224 Bates St NW to Levornie and his wife Rosa O. Best.
  • June 1964 the Bests borrowed $8,000 from the National Permanent Savings and Loan Association.
  • November 1964 the Spencer’s mortgage was released.
  • August 1970 the Bests sold 224 Bates St NW to the DC Redevelopment Land Agency (RLA).
  • August 1979 (recorded) the DC RLA, as part of a larger property package, sold/transferred the property to private partner Bates Street Associates Inc.

Despite no foreclosures or a certain landlord in the picture, the house wound up in the portfolio of the DC Redevelopment Land Agency.

So I had a check out Lillian Barnes. She was born October 8, 1916 in Washington, DC to Viola Kenney and Henry C. Saunders. In the 1950 census she was a widowed woman living as a lodger in New York City in Harlem with a married couple and working as a relief maid at a hotel. But in the 1940 census it appears she was married to Charles Warren already possibly living in an apartment at 615 G St NW. She died December 27, 1997 in Temple Hills, MD. Charles Thomas Warren also died in Temple Hills in 1994.

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