Langston Hughes' Former 1869 Home: Yes, Please!

Sheri Reed

Langston Hughes townhouse

Oh, to pace the actual floorboards of the late poet and writer Langston Hughes' home, which is located in Harlem. I can almost hear the cocktail party chatter among Langston, Lena Horne, Zora Neale Hurston, and Ernest Hemingway. That's an interesting swirling of creative smarty-pants vibes right there. And the place is pretty easy on the eyes as well -- if you're into rad old homes, that is.

Let's look.

Langston Hughes townhouse

Langston Hughes townhouse fireplace

blue staircase

The 4-story, 5-bedroom, 4-bath townhouse was built in 1869 and is on the market for just $1 million. From what you can see alone in the photos, it's in desperate need of renovations (I guess you'll need more than that piddly $1 million after all). Still in tact, however, are the original eight (yes, eight!) marble wood-burning fireplaces, pocket doors, and decorative ceiling and wall moldings. So beautiful.

There's even a little garden out back that really needs some tender loving care.

According to the blog Harlem One Stop, Hughes lived on the third floor of the brownstone in a two-room suite, which had treetop views, a narrow bed, a shower, books, work tables, photographs, and other belongings. While living there, Hughes wrote a book-length poem, an autobiography, newspaper columns, lyrics, anthologies, and many other writings.

"Having that base -- that house -- was very important to the last 20 years of his life," said Arnold Rampersad, who wrote a two-volume biography of the Harlem Renaissance writer.

In tribute to Mr. Langston Hughes, I share one of his poems that so perfectly expresses how I feel when I see a cool old house like his that I could never afford.

It's such a
Being always

--Langston Hughes

Why oh why don't I have a couple million bucks lying around? Oh, what happens to a dream deferred?

Are you drawn to the character in older homes?


Images via Zillow

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