At 20 E. 127th Street in Harlem, Langston Hughes' former home sits empty. The great American writer lived in the home for much of the 1950s and 1960s until be passed away, and it's now estimated to be worth over $3 million, according to CNN Money's Heather Long.
As real estate prices skyrocket and gentrification begins to change the neighborhood landscape, activists are trying to preserve the history of the home. Renee Watson, a local writer who lives nearby, started the an Indiegogo campaign to raise $150,000 to rent the home and turn it into a cultural center honoring Hughes. She has raised $25,000 so far.
The owner of the home may be willing to sell, but Watson is quoted in the article saying that the owner doesn't want the property turned into coffee shops or condos either and so has has agreed to hold off on selling to see how the fund raising unfolds.
The great fear is that the funds to rent and restore the home won't be raised in time. The neighborhood is gentrifying...fast. There are signs of money everywhere: Old brownstone homes are being gutted or knocked down completely to make way for modern apartment buildings. Now white families are increasingly moving in and so are big chain stores and restaurants. In 2013, actor Neil Patrick Harris paid $3.6 million for a property not far from Hughes House.