Monday, May 21st, 2007

Save 1520 Sedgwick Avenue

Respect where it all began…

The birthplace of hip-hop is being threatened with gentrification. From David Gonzalez’s piece in todays NYT:

“This is where it came from,” said Clive Campbell, pointing to the building’s first-floor community room. “This is it. The culture started here and went around the world. But this is where it came from. Not anyplace else.”

O.K., Mr. Campbell is not just anybody — he is the alpha D.J. of hip-hop. As D.J. Kool Herc, he presided over the turntables at parties in that community room in 1973 that spilled into nearby parks before turning into a global assault. Playing snippets of the choicest beats from James Brown, Jimmy Castor, Babe Ruth and anything else that piqued his considerable musical curiosity, he provided the soundtrack savored by loose-limbed b-boys (a term he takes credit for creating, too).

Mr. Campbell thinks the building should be declared a landmark in recognition of its role in American popular culture. Its residents agree, but for more practical reasons. They want to have the building placed on the National Register of Historic Places so that it might be protected from any change that would affect its character — in this case, a building for poor and working-class families.

Throughout the city, housing advocates said, buildings like 1520 Sedgwick are becoming harder to find as owners opt out of subsidy programs so they can eventually charge higher rents on the open market.

posted by @ 5:22 am | 6 Comments

6 Responses to “Save 1520 Sedgwick Avenue”

  1. sugar ray says:

    This a plea to help the cause of Dj Kool Herc and the people of 1520 Sedgwick Ave to make the birthplace of hip hop a national landmark. Please write TODAY to Mayor Bloomberg

    The location 1520 Sedgwick Ave. in the west Bronx, is where young African American kids came together out of peace, respect the human desire to have fun at a party in the community room on a hot summer night on August 11, 1973.

    That party changed the world forever. Now a few people (new building owners) want to dismiss cultural history to drive profits. If it is changed, we can never go back.

    I learned about this legendary party a few years ago It was supervised by parents of the young host, DJ Kool Herc and his sister, Cindy Campbell which was the foundation that created hip hop culture world-wide (DJ, MC, Dancing and Graff Art).

    .When I googled the address “1520 Sedgwick Ave.”, in 2004, to my amazement, zero hits were displayed by the search engine. Not one!

    But, this did not deter us at Sedgwick & Cedar to tell the story of 1520 Sedgwick Ave. and the positive spirit of DJ Kool Herc and his sister Cindy and those young party goers.

    We knew that it was only a matter of time, if the history was simply revealed, people would recognize the significance of this great American landmark and DJ Kool Herc, the Father of Hip Hop, would be celebrated. Thanks to people like Jeff Chang, in less than 3 years, if you Google “1520 Sedgwick Ave” today you will see over 40,000 search engine references!

    Today, people from Japan, Europe and around the world come to visit in awe the humble beginnings of community room and celebrate those young people of 1973 that found a safe place in low income public housing of 1520 Sedgwick Ave. to celebrate together among the social chaos and economic plight facing the Bronx in the 1970’s.

    Please help us make 1520 Sedgwick Ave a National Landmark. The people in that neighborhood take great pride in this building.

    1520 symbolizes that people can do great things under harsh conditions. I respect development but not at the cost of history by those that made a positive contribution to the world and most importantly the symbol it will provide to our children for generations to come.


  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure the oppressive powers that be will turn it into a Starbucks. However, they’ll claim they respect Hip Hop by selling over priced K Tel type cd comps to yuppie consumers, “Oh my, Rap folk! how kitsch.”

  3. Tommy S says:

    Respect the History.

    The hot summer night on August 11, 1973.

  4. Balance says:

    yo all respect goes to Herc. The man, now bigger than his soundsystem.

    Check – Kool HercSedgwickave

    thats a true homage to the legend!
    Peace, love & all that good shit.

  5. Peter says:

    Check out a site put up by a coalition working with the tenants there to make a bid to buy the building and keep it affordable.

  6. drpoundsign says:

    its a PJ FOOLS! CHeck out the ny housing code violation site. Rats mice and roaches in that building. (and its relatively NEW). wouldnt drink no latte from there

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