Hip-hop landmark falls on hard times

TRD New York /
Jan.January 19, 2010 12:05 PM

Housing code violations are piling up on 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the western portion of the Bronx, the building credited as the site of hip-hop’s beginning in the 1970s, as residents of the building grow increasingly irritated with the building’s landlord, which bought the structure in 2008. Since that time, the number of building violations have leapt to 598 from 82, according to the New York Times, and residents at the 102-unit building are none too pleased. “Because it was well maintained [before it changed ownership] and families decided to stay there, relationships grew and it ended up leading to one of the most important cultural contributions in decades,” Dina Levy, a policy director with the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, said. “If that were to fall apart, it would be an indicator of what’s going to happen to communities that are stable in the outer boroughs.” The building first became famous for parties thrown in its community room by D.J. Kool Herc, an early innovator of hip-hop music.

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