Monday, December 24, 2007

AM New York: Rescue Us

AM New York has put preserving New York's urban heritage on the front cover of the December 21-23 edition. The prominent treatment suggests that there is widespread support for keeping the unique features of New York City. Number Four on the AM New York's list is Duffield Street:
Development pressures in downtown Brooklyn threaten the existence of several houses possibly linked to the Underground Railroad. Preservationists say the city ignored documents detailing the historical significance of the houses on Duffield Street.

After nearly four years of protest, one of the homes, No. 227, has been saved. But the fate of others on the street (Nos. 231 and 233) is up in the air. They're slated for demolition as part of a major redevelopment project for Willoughby Square.

Also on watch: The 1847 James Sloan and Abigail Hopper Gibbons home in Chelsea (339 W. 29th St.). Newspaper editor Horace Greeley and abolitionist John Brown were known to stay here, and the house was specifically targeted during the 1863 Draft Riots. Community Board 4 is advocating its preservation: the current owner is remodeling and wants to add a penthouse.
It's good to hear that the homes on West 29th Street are also getting some news coverage. It's also good to report (contrary to the quote above) that 233 Duffield is not threatened. The owner is not selling, and the home is not threatened with eminent domain.