October 29, 2013
Langston Hughes’s home up for sale in Cleveland
by Nick Davies
While Langston Hughes is closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance, and spent a good chunk of his adult life in the Manhattan neighborhood, he lived in various cities all around the country, including Cleveland during his high school years. Now, John Petkovic writes for Cleveland.com, the house where he spent some of his formative years is officially on the market.
The colonial home in the Fairfax area of Cleveland clocks in at 1,424 square feet, and has undergone considerable renovation since it was purchased by a development company in 2009, and is now listed for sale at $85,000. Realtor Sherry M. Callahan says that the Hughes connection is what most people ask about when they see the house, adding that his time there “wasn’t very long, but this is where he came into his own as a writer.”
It was in the attic of the house, where he lived after his mother and stepfather left Cleveland, that Hughes wrote some of his first works, among them plays, short stories, and poems such as his first piece of jazz poetry, “When Sue Wears Red.” He also wrote for his high school newspaper, edited the yearbook, and took classes at the nearby Karamu House, a multicultural arts center that became something of a haven for African-American artists. After Hughes moved out to the East Coast, he’d return frequently, so that he could have his works premiere at Karamu.
An aspiring writer has already made an offer on the home, apparently “looking for inspiration to come through these walls,” according to Callahan.
Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.