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Birthplace of Hip-Hop Saved

Peter Kramer, Getty Images

Hip-hop’s birthplace is still intact. 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx is where Kool Herc — considered to be the father of hip-hop — first DJed a birthday party for his sister in their building’s community room in 1973. The two would go on to host several back-to-school parties there, with Herc manning two turntables. The rest is hip-hop history.

1520 Sedgwick was part of New York City’s Mitchell Lama program which provided housing for middle income families. Over the years the building’s finances became troubled and in 2007 Herc and others hoped to have the building declared a historic landmark, not just for it significance to hip-hop history, but to also maintain its status as a bastion of affordable housing. Nevertheless, the building was purchased by private investors for $7 million in 2008 and quickly fell into further disrepair due to unstable financing. But with the sale of 1520’s mortgage, via help from a number of New York City sponsored financial programs, it clears the way for Workforce Housing Advisors to purchase the property and hopefully improve this official hip-hop landmark’s conditions.

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