BROOKLYN - City experts and community activists faced off Tuesday at City Hall over the future of seven potentially historic houses on Duffield Street in downtown Brooklyn.

According to some local homeowners and area leaders, the houses in question were actually once part of the Underground Railroad. They assert that these structures must be saved as city landmarks, and possibly even turned into museums for future generations.

However, city officials disagree. They say experts that they?ve hired report that there is no conclusive evidence that suggests the houses were ever part of the Underground Railroad. The city plans to seize the houses using eminent domain, creating office space and parking areas.

Community activists accuse the city of placing its interest in development before the need to preserve Brooklyn culture and history. The two sides are presenting testimony to the City Council, which will decide whether or not the buildings will be saved as local landmarks or razed.