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

Courtesy of the Dept. of Labor; 1963
Happy Labor Day! [PHOTOS]

On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square. This is historically recognized as the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history. For most, Labor Day denotes the end of summer, the beginning of the school year, a much needed day off from work. And while all of that […]

orchard-hell-building-capped
Breaking: Katz’s Deli Sells Its Air Rights But It’s Not Going Anywhere

First, the great news. The future of Katz’s Deli is safe. Owner Jake Dell assures us that all is well, while simultaneously disclosing that the 126-year-old Jewish deli just sold off its valuable air rights. “I’m not going anywhere … now I can protect [Katz's],” the 27-year-old proprietor says. The timing of this release is […]

strokes-bose
Revisiting The Strokes and the 2000s Lower East Side Music Scene [VIDEO]

Bose has a new integrated marketing campaign called Scene+Heard, basically a survey course in music appreciation. Its first installment spotlights the now-fabled Lower East Side rock scene in the early 2000s, but primarily focuses on the early career of The Strokes. The narrative is presented through the filter of current band the Gradients, which apparently […]

marty-mar-essex
Street Artist Marty Mar’s Subtle Anti-Gentrification Mural on Essex Street

It was a hyperlocal controversy the day street artist Garrett Wasserman decorated the wall outside Clayton Patterson’s residence on Essex Street. Perhaps confusion is what resulted in the erasure of Marty Mar’s mural; apparently Wasserman had been tapped to paint a different section of the masonry. Nevertheless, “Lower East Side Story” resulted and almost immediately […]

los-perros-locos-allen
Los Perros Locos Will Cease Slinging Hot Dogs at 201 Allen Street Tomorrow

For a while there, two hot dog joints battled for supremacy at the head of Allen Street – Links and Los Perros Locos. Both ultimately met the same fate though, with the latter closing tomorrow night. Owner Alex Mitow took to Facebook to convey the departure message to fans. “Running a retail storefront in the […]