A downtown Brooklyn row house that was home to two leading 19th Century abolitionists will be protected from demolition under historic preservation laws thanks to a Tuesday vote by the city’s landmarking commission.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to OK the designation, which was backed by many prominent Brooklyn politicians, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, Borough President Eric Adams, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and the area’s Councilman Stephen Levin.
“When we talk about 227 Duffield Street we’re not just talking about a building, we’re talking about a deeper history, and something we cannot afford to lose because it’s part of our heart and soul,” de Blasio said Tuesday.
The building at 227 Duffield Street was home to Thomas and Harriet Truesdell for more than a decade — from 1851 to 1863, during the run-up and in the early years of the Civil War.
At the time, Brooklyn’s then-massive ports served as a hub for goods and materials produced by slaves in the southern states. It also provided a key nexus for slaves seeking their freedom on the Underground Railroad — many of whom continued on to communities in New England and Canada.
It’s one of a slew of landmarks in Downtown Brooklyn commemorating the borough’s role in the abolition movement. In 2007, the stretch of Duffield Street between Fulton and Willoughby Avenue was renamed Abolitionist Place.
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