Friday, May 25, 2007

A Strange Turn of Events for One of the Duffield Homes

It appears to be that the owners of one of the alleged Underground Railroad homes may be up for sale at Remax for 4.5 million bucks. This includes 20 stories of air rights. I can't wait to see how this one goes down.
Undergound RR: Consultants Caught In Another Lie
(Brownstoner)
Things Get Curiouser: Underground Railroad House Up for Sale?
(Gowanus Lounge)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just dropped by this blog. Maybe this is an insider "A" or you forgot to copy/paste the full text.

Interessting site. I'll look around a little more. We live in Hamburg, Germany.

Take care,
Sophie

May 25, 2007 7:49 AM

Engine Joe said...

Whatever happens in the long run re: these homes, there's going to be quite a story to tell at the end of the day.

Anonymous said...

A 20 story generic high rise will be a sad replacement for these Duffield buildings. In a few years, Downtown Brooklyn will probably resemble one of those nondescript Midtown blocks. If we're lucky, there might be a few vestiges of the past.

Anonymous said...

Nothing of the past will be left if the Downtown Brooklyn development plan goes through without the supervision of New York State Historic Preservation Office. Read this follow up article about the Duffield buildings.
http://www.brooklyneagle.com/categories/category.php?category_id=27&id=13102

guyfromdobro said...

I think that there is a huge difference between being “Historical” and just plan old. Some buildings need to be preserved and some don't.

Anonymous said...

guyfromdobro - While you might have an opinion about which buildings should or should not be preserved, don't you think that the New York SHPO and Downtown Brooklyn's community should make final determinations about which buildings deserve historic status?

guyfromdobro said...

11:04

New York SHPO should make the final determinations but I'm not sure if I believe the community has a say in whats historical. What credentials does an average citizen have to make that kind of a decision? Are they judging the way a building looks?

Engine Joe said...

For my own part, I definitely agree that the SHPO should have a large voice in the determination here, with input from the community (and not just the facade of input). I don't know if it is the SHPO's job to actually have final say, but it is clearly within its purview to rule as to its eligibility to be preserved (which apparently has not been done as of now).

I would like to see the evidence in favor of the argument that these were UR homes. I've seen the argument against it picked apart, but I haven't yet seen the affirmative evidence for the preservation before I come to my own personal conclusion on the matter.

All that said, I do think the use of eminent domain here - regardless of anything other issue - is rather aggressive. ED was classically for things like building the interstates - something of unquestionable long-term value to the public. Nowadays, it is being used because it might bring economic value to a municipality. That's something all landowners everywhere should be concerned about.

Engine Joe said...

So... is this decisive?

http://brownstoner.com/brownstoner/archives/2007/06/lpc_turns_its_b.php

Looks like it to me, but I don't know - is there a next step (outside of ED litigation)? I don't know the city process for this kind of thing very well.