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

civilianaire-closed-2
Civilianaire Fails Out of 53 East Houston After Two Years

We saw this one coming a mile away. A death watch that came to pass. The year-long 50%-off merchandise sale became a rather sure indication of demise. It was just a matter of when. Well, that day of reckoning arrived yesterday for the Civilianaire boutique on East Houston, where a constant placement of window signage […]

bucketfeet-elizabeth-street
BucketFeet Artsy Footwear Opening New Boutique on Elizabeth Street

Another day, another shoe store for upper Elizabeth Street. Hot on the heels of securing $7.5 million in Series A funding, art-leaning sneaker brand BucketFeet is set to open its first permanent brick-and-mortar location in New York City. (The one in SoHo is technically a pop-up) It’ll be located at 266 Elizabeth Street, formerly the […]

goemon-curry-1
Cocoron Chef Debuts ‘Goemon Curry’ Japanese Restaurant on Kenmare Street

The new Japanese establishment Goemon Curry opened over the weekend at 29 Kenmare Street. Its debut was of the soft variety, yet still managed a sizeable splash. Indeed, launch was pretty much announced with subtle shill from Mission Chinese guru Danny Bowien. As previously reported, Goemon Curry is the brainchild of noodle chef Yoshihito Kira. […]

whynot-orchard
Orchard Street Whynot Coffee on the Lookout for New Location with Sushi Wa in the Works

It would appear that Whynot Coffee is in damage control mode. Last week, we first reported that the popular cafe on Orchard Street would give way to a new Japanese spot called Sushi Wa. Yep, a head-scratcher. For this, owner Emil Stepkov again seeks a full liquor license for 175 Orchard, the holy grail he’s […]

eastbroadway-bus
CB3 Resoundingly Demands DOT to Halt New Chinatown Bus Permits

The downtown bus depot that is Chinatown is divided. On the one side, bus business is flourishing thanks to an overcapacity Port Authority terminal; on the other, embattled residents who are sick of the dangers and quality-of-life nuisance. Only in the last year or so has the issue gained traction with city government. Now this. […]