Last month, writers Darryl Pinckney and James Fenton paid $1.85 million for a townhouse on Harlem's West 123rd Street and Mount Morris Park West. Or did they?! The 10,000-square-foot house used to belong to what's said to be the country's oldest African-American synagogue, and the sale hasn't stopped two factions of the congregation from continuing to fight over the building in court. One group sold the building to a developer in 2007 (for $1.625 million) against the other faction's wishes. And even though the recession scuttled the developer's plan to turn the building condo and a state judge said the sale shouldn't have happened without everyone's consent, the '07 transaction is still valid under state law. Whether Pinckney and Fenton get to keep the house is up to the court. Or perhaps they could just go biblical? Cut the building in half, keep everybody happy!
· Black Synagogue Dispute Snags Buyers [WSJ]