Preserve 227 Duffield Street/Abolitionist Place as a NYC Landmark

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Aliya Anna Donn
Aliya Anna Donn signed this petition

https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2019/08/06/activists-fight-for-house-in-brooklyn-they-believe-was-used-for-the-underground-railroad

https://brooklyneagle.com/articles/2019/07/09/the-movement-to-save-the-downtown-brooklyn-house-of-two-abolitionists/

https://gothamist.com/2019/07/19/duffield_house_brooklyn.php

http://brooklyn.news12.com/story/40743233/activists-elected-officials-work-to-save-historical-building

227 Duffield St., located on Abolitionist Place in Downtown Brooklyn, is the last known standing historic site in Brooklyn where abolitionists lived and where people found freedom through the Underground Railroad. Its demolition is imminent. Since the City’s Downtown Brooklyn redevelopment plan demolished all other Duffield Street historic residences, 227 Duffield St. represents the last known standing property to continue the legacy of African American history and resistance in New York City and should be preserved as a city landmark. Joy Chatel, former inhabitant and owner pictured above, fought for its preservation until her death in 2014. May she rest in power. Photo taken from https://www.gofundme.com/htxtis.

With a lack of African American historical sites in Brooklyn, we cannot stop at the installation of statues recognizing historical figures. We must also work to preserve the physical movements of our ancestors. 227 Duffield Street was home to two prominent abolitionists, Harriet and Thomas Truesdell, who were friends of and hosted renowned abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison. Down the road lived Underground Railroad Conductor, William Harned. The property embodies the role Brooklyn played in the abolitionist movement at a time when the Fugitive Slave Act was the law of the land. Such an invaluable piece of history cannot be erased. Historical scholar Cheryl Janifer LaRoche said a study commissioned by New York City’s Economic Development Corporation “provides overwhelming evidence” of abolitionist activity on the block.

As community leaders and Brooklyn residents, we ask you, Lisa Kersavage, Executive Director of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, to review 227 Duffield St. for landmark status and preserve this location as part of our collective history. Only you possess the power to stay the demolition order. Please join us in honoring the sacred ground our ancestors walked in the fight for freedom, by investing in it as a community preservation project and not as in its permanent eradication.