The past doesn’t sit right with architectural historian Jean-Louis Goldwater Bourgeois. And now, he says he is doing his part to make amends.
Bourgeois is in the process of transferring the deed of his $4 million West Village home to a Native American group.
“I have a romance with the history of the city, and I have been generally appalled that the land that the city is on has been taken by whites,” he told the Post. This building is the trophy from major theft. It disgusts me.”
Bourgeois is the son of the late sculptor Louise Bourgeois and has owned the 1834 three-floor clapboard house at 6 Weehawken Street since 2006, when it was bought for $2.2 million. The house will now benefit a nonprofit controlled by the Lenape tribe, the original Manhattanites.
“[I feel] rage against what whites have done and some guilt, no, a lot of guilt, that I have profited from this major theft. The right thing to do is to return it,” he told the Post.
Bourgeois recently returned to NYC after spending eight weeks in North Dakota protesting the proposed pipeline near the Sioux Standing Rock Indian Reservation. He says he is interested in giving land back to Native Americans after meeting Joseph Scabby Robe, a Cree Indian from Manitoba, Canada, during an Occupy Wall Street protest.
“I told Joseph that I’d like to return the land to the Lenapes,” Bourgeois said. “The house isn’t important. It’s the land that the house sits on that’s important.” [NYP] —Christopher Cameron