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‘Grassroots’ efforts lauded with awards - Bklyn orgs recognized for preservation work

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Four Brooklyn neighborhood organizations were recently named as recipients of citywide Historic Districts Council (HDC) Grassroots Preservations Awards.

Among the recipients are the 227 Duffield Street Coalition, the DUMBO Neighborhood Association (DNA), Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) and the Brooklyn-based blog,

“These advocates are the foundation of the preservation movement and their efforts benefit everyone who lives, works, or visits New York City,” said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the HDC.

“It’s an honor and pleasure to be able to shine the spotlight on these neighborhood heroes,” he added.

The 227 Duffield St. Coalition, consisting of Joy Chatel of 227 Duffield Street, Jennifer Levy of South Brooklyn Legal Services, and Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), received their award for successfully saving the house at 227 Duffield Street from demolition and raising awareness about Downtown Brooklyn’s important abolitionist history.

The house at 227 Duffield Street is thought to have been a stop for the Underground Railroad.

The city had planned to seize the property under eminent domain, but after a protracted and public fight that wound up in court, the city agreed to not condemn the property.

“I’m thrilled to be honored, especially alongside of people I have so much respect for and who fought so long and hard and got a great result,” said Levy.

The DNA won the award for its successful efforts to have DUMBO designated as a New York City historic district, as well as its continued work advocating for appropriate zoning and new development in the neighborhood.

Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn won the award for its ongoing campaign to stop the Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project and advocate for appropriate development on the Vanderbilt Rail Yards.

“DDDB thanks the Historic Districts Council for acknowledging and honoring our ongoing efforts to stop the Atlantic Yards project,” said DDDB spokesperson Daniel Goldstein.

“We are very optimistic that we can achieve our goal of fair, responsible development over the Vanderbilt rail yards,” he added. will be honored with the “Friends from the Media” Award for its role in informing and interesting the public about issues affecting land use in Brooklyn and across the city.

The awards ceremony event is slated for 6 p.m., Thursday, May 15 in the garden and parish hall of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery at East 10th Street and 2nd Avenue.

The event is open to the public at a cost of $25, $15 for Friends of HDC.

To purchase tickets in advance, call (212) 614-9107 or e-mail

Tickets will also be sold at the door.

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