Friday, January 2, 2009

Surviving '08 and hope for '09

227 Duffield keeps on keeping on, and the press keeps noticing. Curbed puts Duffield on its list of three "Threatened Neighborhood Landmarks That Are Somehow Still Standing":

The houses, on Duffield Street in Downtown Brooklyn, found themselves the target of the city's eminent domain policy as politicians eyed--er, a parking garage, for the space. Given the economic situation, this one's anyone's call as to how it will end up. Our prediction: Underground Railroad-themed parking garage! Yes? Good?

AMNY put Duffield #4 on list of 10 to save at the end of 2007. Here's their recent follow up:

Nos. 231 and 233 Duffield Street
New plans for this block of homes included an Underground Railroad museum and sale of air rights for a new hotel. But negotiations between the owner and developer have stalled, and the project may be scaled back.

Finally, the Brooklyn Paper puts Duffield on "90 to watch in ‘09!":

67. Abolitionist monuments: The city announced plans to create a $3-million, four-part abolitionist memorial throughout Brooklyn, with plans to start a museum in the former Underground Railroad houses on Duffield Street, set to start in the new year. We’ll believe it when we see it.

There are several factual errors in all these... AMNY should know that 227 Duffield is the most prominent of the Abolitionist homes, and that 233 is owned by a strong advocate of the history. He is not selling, but the developers at V3 have already gotten control of 231 and have applied for a permit to destroy the building.

We do hope, as implied by the Brooklyn Paper, that the city's abolitionist memorial will include Duffield Street. That's not part of the city's plan, but the the groups awarded the contract have the opportunity to include Duffield. Let's hope they do!

I remain hopeful about establishing a museum at 227 Duffield this year. Keep posted for news.