Langston Hughes' Harlem Brownstone For Sale

The parlor of Langston Hughes' home in Harlem, N.Y.

Credit: Jim Cummings-Barbara Harris

Misery is when you heard
on the radio that the neighborhood
you live in is a slum but
you always thought it was home.
–Langston Hughes

The Harlem brownstone that Langston Hughes called home for two decades is for sale, offering a rare chance to see inside the ivy-covered house built in 1869.

"Everyone who I've shown it to has been interested in having it as their primary residence," says Barbara Harris, the listing agent at Weichert Mazzeo. "People started looking at Harlem again because those brownstones are some of the most beautiful in the city."

Only the exterior of the three-story Italianate house has been designated a city landmark, so a new owner will be allowed to alter everything except the 20-foot-wide facade.

Hughes lived in the brownstone, writing in a room on the third floor, from 1948 until his death in 1967. Longtime owner Beverly Prince rented it out until last year.

In February, Hughes' boyhood home in Cleveland was sold at a foreclosure auction to Wells Fargo Bank for a mere $16,667. The Harlem brownstone is currently listed at $1.2 million.


Free Harlem Guide

Last week former President Bill Clinton, along with Zagat, announced a free guide to Harlem's restaurants, shops, and attractions. The "Zagat Spotlight on Harlem" is available for free at

Read about the tenant who replaced the roof and started a nonprofit in the Langston Hughes House 

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Submitted by Mush at: October 14, 2009
If I could afford it, I would happily and lovingly restore this beautiful piece of history!!!!

Submitted by WyoDan at: August 26, 2009
The sad trend is 'gut-rehab', which means that all that'll be left after the new owners get through with it will be 4 walls. I really hope someone with taste and compassion for historic architecture will buy this. I love Harlem, visited once and had a great time.

Submitted by M at: August 18, 2009
Please preserve this home in memory of Langston Huges, his poetry and a remembrance of the Harlem Renaissance! Thx.