Activists, elected officials work to save historical building

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BROOKLYN -

Brooklyn activists are working hard to preserve a building that they say was part of the underground railroad. 

The building at 227 Duffield St. was owned by a woman named Joy Chatel before she died several years ago. People who knew her say she was committed to preserving the building's history.  

Activists say this building, and several others on the street which have since been demolished, were part of the underground railroad - where abolitionists hid runaway slaves in passageways below the street.

They say the history of this part of Brooklyn during the Civil War will be lost if this building isn’t saved.

The Department of Buildings says an application for demolition was submitted for this building on June 5, but it was incomplete and has not been approved.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission says they have received a request to evaluate this building for landmark status, and it is currently under review.

Several elected officials including Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, Councilman Stephen Levin, and Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez say they are working to fight to save it. 

Many activists saying they would prefer to see this building be turned into a museum.

 

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