Friday, August 24, 2007

Courier-Life: Mayor offers new plan, but street demolition is still on

The Courier-Life publications ran a story in its various papers about Bloomberg's plan to commemorate Brooklyn Abolitionism while destroying the Duffield Abolitionist homes. The article reports:

“Extensive research into the history of the houses on Duffield and Gold Streets failed to produce evidence that directly connected Underground Railroad activity to the houses,” said EDC spokesperson Janel Patterson.
The NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) hired AKRF to do the environmental review (which includes cultural resources) and a follow-up study of the Underground Railroad connections at the Duffield Street properties. Even though AKRF has an archeologist on staff, the "extensive research" cited by Janel Petterson did not include an archeologist. The "extensive research" also chose to ignore the advice of their Peer Reviewers. The Peer Reviewers of this "extensive research" came to the conclusion that these properties should be preserved for further research, and the EDC published their findings here.

There is no dispute that the area was home to a great deal of Abolitionist activity at a time when New York was strongly pro-slavery. The EDC has failed to disprove that there was no Underground Railroad activity on Duffield, so they are very careful in their language.

AKRF was also the company that led the environmental review process at the World Trade Center, an area which includes the deadly fire at the Deutsche Bank building.