Downtown Brooklyn played an important role in the underground railroad and the larger abolitionist movement. Most of those relevant neighborhood locations have been torn down (many in the past decade). But there’s one building that survived — 227 Duffield Street — and has since been granted landmark status and promised some much-needed stabilization work. Brownstoner recently spotted some construction workers at the site, meaning that work may be moving forward:
Workers were busy at the beleaguered former home of 19th century abolitionists in Downtown Brooklyn when Brownstoner stopped by Monday — a possible sign that stabilization of the landmarked but neglected building might be inching forward.
With all the history of this building (and the street), I’m happy that at least one location will remain standing amongst all the new construction.
The Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood has changed so much over the past decade and a half, and Duffield Street is one of the most striking illustrations of that change.
If you’re not familiar with the how this neighborhood used to be, you should take a step back in time to 2009 using Google Street View. Take a look around at block full of Brownstones and (relatively) short buildings. Then travel through the years using the navigation panel in the top left to watch it transform into the street we know today.
I’m looking forward to the day when we can finally see a clear view of 227 Duffield Street, unblocked from all the construction work. Much like the remnants of the old “Cafeteria” sign on Fulton, this building will be a singular glimpse into the past in a neighborhood that’s otherwise unrecognizable.