The African-American poet Langston Hughes, one of the most important figures of the Harlem Renaissance, lived at number 20 East 127th Street for the last two decades of his life, on the top floor of a reddish stone townhouse where he wrote such remarkable works as Montage of a Dream Deferred and I Wonder as I Wander. This modest redstone terraced house, built in 1869, was designed in Italianate style by architect Alexander Wilson. Built by two real estate developers, James Meagher and Thomas Hanson, it is typical of terraced houses built in Harlem during the post-Civil War period. However, the house acquires its importance as the home for 20 years of Langston Hughes, author and poet and one of the most prominent figures in the Harlem Renaissance, a literary movement of the 1920s and 1930s that focused on the question of black identity.
The ashes of Langston Hughes are buried under the Houston Conwill Rivers, a deeply moving public art installation on the lobby floor of the Schomburg Center at the New York Public Library.