If a party in Woodstock, N.Y., defined an era, another party in the Bronx four years later planted the seeds of a new one. On Aug. 11, 1973, Clive Campbell and his sister, Cindy, hosted a party in their high-rise at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. Clive, also known as DJ Kool Herc, mixed and matched records on turn tables as guests in a cramped community room danced the night away. The party swelled, moved into the street, and lasted well into the next morning. That evening, the art form of hip hop, the cultural and musical phenomenon that has permeated virtually every corner of the world, was born.
"It was just a party, intended to be something positive in the community," says Cindy Campbell.
Now the tenants of the 100-unit apartment building where it all began are calling upon this unique history to keep the owner from selling the low-income housing unit to a private investor. The complex was built in 1969 as part of the state-funded Mitchell-Lama program, which created 115,000 units of affordable housing in New York City. But after 20 years in the program, BSR Management, the current owner, is allowed to opt out of the subsidy program and raise rental fees.
The tenants argue that if the building is recognized as a significant historical landmark, its affordable housing status should be preserved. ... Read More →
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