The Plight of Taylor Mead Amidst Ludlow Landlord Harassment

Posted on: February 26th, 2013 at 6:09 am by

163-ludlow-row

At 87, Taylor Mead remains a Lower East Side legend. His creative achievements are many, including appearances in numerous Andy Warhol films, published as poet, and being shown in the Whitney Biennial. But the prolific artist resides in an area which is now deemed Hell Square. And for him, the name rings true.

Mead lives on the fifth floor of 163 Ludlow Street, his home of thirty-three years. Now in the twilight of his life, the artist is allegedly on the receiving end of landlord harassment. Hated real estate baron Ben Shaoul is allegedly culprit, having purchased the row of tenements last summer for $16.5 million. The overarching story here is nothing new, often repeated throughout the neighborhood (e.g. tenants at 143 Ludlow). Make living conditions so awful to force self-eviction, then profit from the departure with astronomical rents.

To be fair, though, the previous landlord was no walk in the park, either. Mead told the Villager back in November that:

The last landlord was starting to not give heat during the winter,” he noted, “like a brochure on how to get rid of tenants. The last winter they didn’t fix the roof door — it was left open and the entire building was like a hurricane.

Clayton Patterson wrote more about his plight a few weeks ago, noting that:

He is one of the few remaining tenants in his building. The whole place is a construction site with all the expected noise, dust, obstacles, worker traffic, open doors, coldness and activities that come with construction. There is pounding on his walls, floors and hallways from early morning till late Saturday evening. Then there is the intrusion of the holes drilled through his walls. The dust. To have to live with this would be enough to send a young person over the edge. His home life has become unbearable.

A quick check of the DOB online database shows that numerous permits are in place for interior renovations…joined also by 16 complaints.

[Photo: Clayton Patterson]

[Photo: Clayton Patterson]

Down the block, meanwhile, Filmmakers’ Co-op head M.M. Serra is reportedly experiencing the same drama in her own building, where long-term tenants are also being harassed.

Some locals are trying to fight back by sending letters to our local politicians for some sort of action. Seems the argument is falling on deaf ears, though, with barely a shrug.

Recent Stories

thor-vandal
Atop the Hotel on Rivington, Street Art Takes Hold

It’s not just nightlife tune-ups, the Hotel on Rivington is seemingly trying to reinvent itself. Last month, we noted the nightlife reboot on premise. The Shanghai-themed lounge, Jia (formerly Viktor & Spoils), and an as-yet-unnamed Mediterranean restaurant in the adjacent space. Both are by the collective hand of Roberto Buchelli (Beautique, Provocateur) and Corey Lane (partner […]

icp-bowery-open
International Center of Photography Brings ‘Maman’ Cafe Outpost to the Bowery

The International Center of Photography officially opened its flagship Bowery location to the public yesterday. Its coronation was years in the making, and caps an extended period of dormancy for this storefront real estate at 250 Bowery. With its arrival in the neighborhood, though, is a tag-along eats occupant. Indeed, lost in all the headlines […]

2spring-sign-stand
Mic Drop: State Denies ‘The Stand’ Comedy Club a Chance on the Bowery

After four years on Third Avenue, The Stand was planning on relocating the comedy club to a basement on the Bowery. Apparently some impending development is pushing them out. However, the state denied owner Paul Italia and company a liquor license this week for the subterranean space below 2 Spring Street. Opposition to the establishment was entrenched from […]

bowery-boys
Ambitious ‘Windows on the Bowery’ Placard Project to Highlight History of Thoroughfare, Launches July 5

These days, the Bowery rarely gets due recognition for its pioneering architecture, and early contributions to myriad art forms, such as tattooing, punk, vaudeville, and Yiddish Theater. Instead, it’s really all about which historic buildings can be sold to the highest bidder for demolition and re-development. Armed with a platoon of historians and visually-striking imagery, […]

showdown-2016-1_wm
Scenes from Steve Nash’s 9th Annual Showdown NYC on the LES [PHOTOS]

Last night, the Lower East Side again played host to the annual Showdown NYC. It was the ninth outing for retired ball player Steve Nash, who rallied his athlete friends for another inner-city friendly. As in years prior, a delegation of NBA, MLS, and international soccer stars, as well as notable personalities, gathered at Nike […]