Iconic gay writer’s historic home may be destroyed
The home of James Baldwin, arguably one of the 20th century’s most prominent gay writers, could be torn down to make way for apartments.
Although Baldwin died in 1987, his home in Saint-Paul de Venice has been seen by many in the LGBT community as culturally significant and worth preservation.
A number of notable figures stayed at the house, including Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones and gay modernist painter, Beaufont Delaney.
Although much of the house has now fallen into disrepair, the writing room where Baldwin wrote his novels is still intact.
The ‘Go Tell it to the Mountain’ author lived in the house with his Swiss partner, Lucien Happersberger, a painter. After his death, the house passed to his brother – who has also now died.
With ownership passing to former landlady, Jeanne Fauré, the house has now been sold to a developer, who wants to clear it for luxury villas and apartments.
A number of prominent artists and journalists have called for the house to be preserved due to its important links with Baldwin and the LGBT community.
Calls have also been made for the French Government to intervene and ensure the house is saved.
Baldwin was a prominent civil rights campaigner and had left the States for France after being disillusioned over the country’s treatment of black people and gays.