Sections
June 3, 2006 / Brooklyn news / Development / Around Brooklyn

Council goes to bat for ‘RR’

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

A handful of Brooklyn City Council members doesn’t want the Underground Railroad to get railroaded.

The group is demanding that the city delay for 90 days its plan to tear down a row of houses that may have been a way station for fugitive slaves.

“What we don’t want the city to do is … to say, ‘Boom, the houses are condemned,’ ” said City Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn Heights), who called for the 90-day hold along with colleagues Bill DeBlasio (D-Park Slope), Al Vann (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant), Letitia James (D-Prospect Heights) and Charles Barron (D-Canarsie).

“It’s clear that there is at least significant reason to think the houses may have some historical significance and we need to make sure there is some public review,” Yassky said.

The current city plan calls the Duffield Street houses — which historians and preservationists believe were part of the fabled Underground Railroad — to be torn down in favor of a parking lot to serve a new hotel planned near the Fulton Mall.

The city has been studying the houses to determine if they should be preserved — but residents have charged that the firm doing the analysis is intent on proving that there is no historical value to the homes.

As a result, resident Joy Chatel called the latest council move “wonderful,” a marked reversal from an earlier attack she leveled at Yassky, whom she claimed wasn’t doing enough to protect the historic houses.

“Now people are really working with us,” she said, “not just trying to prove that we are wrong, so they can get on with their job,”

The council move is the latest effort to save the Duffield houses.

In a letter to the city’s consultants in March, a member of the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission, Christopher Moore, said that destroying them would “continue the city’s legacy” of not protecting black history.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.