Work begins at Downtown abolitionist home
BY SUSAN DE VRIES
After years of neglect, stabilization
work is under way
at the recently landmarked
abolitionist home on Duffi eld
Street in Downtown Brooklyn.
A sign on the green construction
fence outside 227
Duffi eld St. proclaims “stabilization
work” is in progress
to “stabilize and protect the
structure to provide the basis
for future rehabilitation and
restoration.” The sign is from
the Department of Design and
Construction, which is handling
Plans were fi led in September
to seal and stabilize the
mid 19th century building and
remediate deteriorating “facade
alterations,” DOB NOW
records show. The applicant of
record is John Fontillas of H3
Hardy Collaboration, a global
architecture fi rm that has
worked on a number of museum
and civic projects.
The city has not yet announced
COURIER LIFE, N 22 OVEMBER 19-25, 2021
what it plans to ultimately
do with the property;
locals have in the past advocated
turning it into a museum.
A developer intended
to raze the house and replace
it with a 13-story mixed-use
building, until the city landmarked
it and purchased the
property earlier this year.
How new the sign is isn’t
clear, but if cleanliness is any
indication it must have gone
up fairly recently as it was
in pristine condition with no
Work has begun at the now-landmarked home at 227 Duffi eld St. in Downtown
Brooklyn (left), near the location of the future Abolitionist Place
park wiis already under construction (right) Photos by Susan De Vries
graffi ti in sight.
The sign also includes
a brief history of the home,
which was designated as an
individual landmark by LPC
in February for its association
with active abolitionists Harriet
and Thomas Truesdell,
who lived there from 1851
to 1863. That vote followed decades
of struggle to preserve
the property, which has had
a tangled ownership history,
including records of low payments
to longtime owners by
Just a month later, in March
of this year, the city’s Department
of Citywide Administrative
Services fi nalized the purchase
of the building for $3.2
million. In July, LPC issued a
binding report, used for construction
projects that impact
landmarks owned by the City,
approving exterior work at the
property, including installing
the new fencing, removing debris
and replacing an existing
sidewalk hatch in kind.
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