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

Traipsing Around Town with Ugo Rondinone’s ‘I ♥ John Giorno’

Imagine having been part of the Beat Generation and Pop Art era. You could go to a phone booth (remember those?) and dial a poem; You could be filmed by Andy Warhol for hours – while sleeping; You might even be neighbors on the Bowery with William Burroughs. Or be a fly on the wall, […]

Someone Trashed the Blueprints for the Ace Hotel Bowery on the Sidewalk

Trash is sometimes treasure. Everyone knows that 225 Bowery is to become the newest Ace Hotel in the stable. However, the company never officially confirmed their intentions here. Even as the transformative construction work atop the building proceeds. Well, official blueprints trashed on Chrystie Street late Tuesday night all but confirm this. We had received […]

Essex Street Light Poles are Now LED-Equipped

The lighting scheme along Essex Street is presently undergoing a complete shift to more modern technology. That warm glow is now replaced with the blinding antiseptic flood of LED. The Department of Transportation has begun swapping the infrastructure, and at least four new poles are now installed. We caught this crew hoisting one into place […]

Local Band Responds to Arrest and Taser Incident at Orchard Street Block Party

By now you’ve probably seen the footage of cops arresting two musicians during a performance on Orchard Street Thursday evening. It was an event organized by The Cast as part of the “Make Music New York” program. During one of the evening sets, patrolling police from the 7th Precinct stopped by – apparently there was […]

Block Party at The Cast on Orchard Street Broken up with Aggressive Arrest [VIDEO]

An afternoon of music on Orchard Street was interrupted yesterday evening with two aggressive arrests. Rock-n-roll leather shop, The Cast, hosted its annual street party for “Make Music New York” that included performances by eight bands on Orchard Street, between Grand and Broome. The event began at noon, but by dusk, it was broken up, albeit temporarily, by police […]