Monday, June 18, 2007

Suit: Underground Railroad homes at risk

From amNewYork
By Justin Rocket Silverman

A lawsuit filed against the city aims to save seven unassuming houses that may have been a stop on the Underground Railroad used by escaping slaves.

The houses are slated for demolition to make way for a massive redevelopment of Downtown Brooklyn.

"There is no debate at this point that prominent abolitionists lived at 227 Duffield St.," said Jennifer Levy, a lawyer with South Brooklyn Legal Services, which filed the suit Friday.

"But the city didn't include that fact in its final environmental impact report. I guess they missed it."

The suit seeks to show the city violated its own laws by failing to fully examine the historical significance of the houses it wants to demolish. Preservationists say the houses were important stops along the Underground Railroad in the 19th century. They criticize the city for not holding public discussions on their demolition.

full article

[Photo, Jefferson Siegel]