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Rediscovering New York

Tuesday, July 14, 2020
14
Jul

2020/07/14 - Saving the City's Cultural Landmarks

[NEW EPISODE] Saving the City's Cultural Landmarks

Saving Two Buildings in Brooklyn

On this week’s program we will explore efforts to gain landmark status for buildings based on culture and history, and two buildings in particular, both in Brooklyn.

My guests will be Karen Karbiener, Clinical Professor at New York University and Walt Whitman Scholar, and Raul Rothblatt, Historic Preservation Advocate and co-founder of Five Boroughs to Freedom.

You can also watch the Facebook Livestream video by click here.


Segment 1

Jeff begins the show by introducing his guests, Karen Karbiener and Raul Rothblatt. Both guests are making efforts to preserve buildings 99 Ryerson St., a pivotal residence for illustrious American poet, Walt Whitman; and 227 Duffield St, both. in Brooklyn. Karen describes what intrigued her about Walt Whitman’s work, what set him apart from other writers, and what led her to preserving his residence. Raul talks about how he got engaged in community affairs working with a NY state senator. Following this, Karen delves into how Whitman came to live in 99 Ryerson St. 

Segment 2

Karen and Raul talk about how Whitman’s sexual orientation and his activism influenced his writing. Karen then dives into the kind of influence the first publication of Leaves of Grass had in American literature at the time. They continue to discuss Whitman’s activism when the poet moved to Washington, and how his activism and poetry was a way to accept all kinds of people.

Segment 3

Raul describes some of the political and cultural highlights surrounding the NYC/Brooklyn landscape around 1848, and some of the structures and institutions that arose including abolitionists and black community churches. Following, Raul talks about the supposed abolitionist activity that may have happened on 227 Duffield St. He does note, however, that Duffield St. as a whole observed abolitionist movement. 

Segment 4

Karen explains why 99 Ryerson St.’s landmark status was initially turned down by the landmark preservation commission. Raul then describes why 227 Duffield St.’s landmark status application was turned down initially as well. Both guests cite architectural design, the amount of time spent in historical relevance, how the building stands currently, etc. The show ends with Karen and Raul sharing how listeners can get involved with landmark preservation and learn more about their respective organizations.


Transcript

00:00:49.500 --> 00:00:58.800 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone. Welcome to our listeners in the Big Apple from across the rest and around the world. I'm Jeff Goodman and this is rediscovering New York

00:00:59.610 --> 00:01:05.550 Jeff Goodman: Professionally, I'm a real estate broker with hosted real estate. And as most of my listeners know I love New York

00:01:06.270 --> 00:01:21.120 Jeff Goodman: The program is a weekly show about the history texture and vibe of our amazing city and we do it through interviews with historians local business owners nonprofit organizations preservationists local musicians and artists and the occasional elected official

00:01:22.290 --> 00:01:31.020 Jeff Goodman: On some shows we focus on an individual New York neighborhood exploring its history and its current energy. What makes that particular name New York neighborhood special

00:01:31.830 --> 00:01:39.000 Jeff Goodman: Sometimes like tonight we host shows about an interesting and vital color of the city and its history. That's not focused on one particular neighborhood.

00:01:39.780 --> 00:01:49.080 Jeff Goodman: On prior episodes. We've covered topics as diverse and illuminating as American presidents who came from lived in or had some history here in New York, about half of them, believe it or not.

00:01:49.860 --> 00:01:54.900 Jeff Goodman: The history of women activists and the women's suffrage movement in Brooklyn and New York African American history.

00:01:55.620 --> 00:02:05.220 Jeff Goodman: We've talked about the history of the city's LGBT community in the gay rights movement, we've explored the history of bicycles and cycling, believe it or not, they have been here for 201 years

00:02:05.820 --> 00:02:13.410 Jeff Goodman: We've explored the history of punk and Opera in New York. They were separate shows, by the way, and we explored the city's greatest train stations.

00:02:14.220 --> 00:02:25.050 Jeff Goodman: And even had an episode on basketball after the broadcast each show is available on podcast. You can hear us on iTunes Spotify SoundCloud Stitcher and other services.

00:02:26.100 --> 00:02:39.240 Jeff Goodman: Tonight we're having a special show about landmarks, but specifically saving cultural landmarks and specifically the efforts to save two structures in Brooklyn, which was its own city at the time that these buildings were built.

00:02:40.560 --> 00:02:47.280 Jeff Goodman: On past shows, we've talked about efforts to landmark buildings in New York in January was episode 51

00:02:48.390 --> 00:02:56.280 Jeff Goodman: The short that New York's greatest train stations, we talked about how the destruction of the original Penn Station led to the New York landmark low that we have now.

00:02:56.850 --> 00:03:06.990 Jeff Goodman: And the subsequent in successful efforts to save New York's other great train station which is Grand Central as well as countless other buildings including some of the best known buildings in the city, large and small,

00:03:08.250 --> 00:03:13.740 Jeff Goodman: less glamorous and less sensational though but no less important to preserving essential places of the city.

00:03:14.160 --> 00:03:19.440 Jeff Goodman: And even some of our national history or buildings that most people even most New Yorkers have never heard about

00:03:20.250 --> 00:03:27.570 Jeff Goodman: But which are also vitally important and preserving an order to protect our heritage and our cultural and even our political history.

00:03:28.440 --> 00:03:36.810 Jeff Goodman: Today we're going to talk about two specific buildings one at 99 Ryerson Street and for green and the second to 27 Duffield street in downtown Brooklyn.

00:03:37.740 --> 00:03:43.530 Jeff Goodman: Their unassuming structures. Most people walking by would not have any idea of their importance, and who may have lived there.

00:03:43.830 --> 00:03:51.930 Jeff Goodman: And what may have happened at the structures and how the people who lived in work there played important roles in our local and national history.

00:03:52.650 --> 00:04:05.970 Jeff Goodman: Local History in those days would have been the city of Brooklyn not New York because Brooklyn didn't become part of New York City until 1898 Brooklyn, by the way, was the third largest city in the United States until it became part of New York in the consolidation.

00:04:07.080 --> 00:04:22.200 Jeff Goodman: 99 Ryerson Street is the only building still standing in New York where Walt Whitman lived and to 27 Duffield was the locus, not only of the abolitionist movement before the Civil War, but also have the civil rights movement that coalesced right after the Civil War.

00:04:23.610 --> 00:04:29.700 Jeff Goodman: I'm pleased to have two guests on the show today who have played an important role and trying to bring landmark status to these important buildings.

00:04:30.180 --> 00:04:42.030 Jeff Goodman: And who have made it an important goal of their work and timely, it is because this morning there was a hearing at the Landmarks Preservation Commission for one of the buildings, we're going to talk about tonight to 27 Duffield

00:04:43.020 --> 00:04:55.350 Jeff Goodman: We're not only going to learn about those efforts to landmark the buildings, but also about the lives of the people who lived and worked there who they were, what they did and the influence they had on our society and our culture.

00:04:57.210 --> 00:05:03.990 Jeff Goodman: I'm pleased to welcome to guess my first guest is Karen Carpenter Karen is a witness scholar and teaches at New York University.

00:05:04.650 --> 00:05:08.790 Jeff Goodman: She is the winner of the clued fellowship at the Library of Congress and a Fulbright Scholar.

00:05:09.300 --> 00:05:16.110 Jeff Goodman: She has published widely on Whitman, including in addition of Leaves of Grass to audio books on witness life and influence

00:05:16.620 --> 00:05:26.910 Jeff Goodman: A book introducing Wilson's poetry to children and a collaboration with Illustrator Brian Selznick on Live Oak with moss, which is a new edition of Whitman secret, same sex love poems

00:05:27.630 --> 00:05:37.620 Jeff Goodman: She was the co curator with collector Susan tain of poet of the body. New York's Walt Whitman, a major exhibition at the New York scroll at New York scroll your club that was in 2019

00:05:38.370 --> 00:05:48.360 Jeff Goodman: And Karen's, the author of a book of the same title. She's the president and founding member of the Walt Whitman Initiative, a nonprofit organization, serving as an organizing center for cultural activism.

00:05:48.810 --> 00:05:54.960 Jeff Goodman: Including efforts to landmark Whitman's last standing house in New York at 99 Ryerson street which we're going to talk about tonight on the program.

00:05:56.220 --> 00:06:06.420 Jeff Goodman: Our second guest is REL rough flat. He's a longtime advocate of to 27 Duffield the last home owned by abolitionists left standing on abolitionists place in downtown Brooklyn.

00:06:07.350 --> 00:06:17.160 Jeff Goodman: Roles originally from San Francisco, he moved to Brooklyn in 1993 as Co president of the PS 99 I'm sorry PS nine Brooklyn parent organization.

00:06:17.580 --> 00:06:28.440 Jeff Goodman: He led the efforts to rename the school after Sarah Smith garnet who we will be talking about tonight. She was the first African American woman principal in New York and co founder of the first African Americans suffrage club.

00:06:29.250 --> 00:06:35.790 Jeff Goodman: He is the co founder of five boroughs to freedom new organization working to create awareness of New York City's long support for slavery.

00:06:36.420 --> 00:06:42.390 Jeff Goodman: That's bust some people's you have new york before the Civil War, but we'll talk about them and celebrate the people who resisted

00:06:43.200 --> 00:06:51.450 Jeff Goodman: He is working with the major Owens family owns was a former congressman who represented the district in Brooklyn to increase recognition of his contributions to the civil rights movement.

00:06:52.260 --> 00:06:56.220 Jeff Goodman: He's presently the director of Community Affairs for New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton.

00:06:57.030 --> 00:07:09.360 Jeff Goodman: He also plays cello with Kanye West African band and base with Alexa Alexa, I hope I pronounced that right. I don't speak Magyar open carry and felt bad Karen roll a hearty welcome to rediscovering your

00:07:10.830 --> 00:07:14.010 Karen Karbiener: Thank you so much. Thank you for having us. Perfect timing.

00:07:15.180 --> 00:07:25.020 Jeff Goodman: Before we talk about the background and the efforts that you've undertaken to landmark these these buildings. Let's talk a little bit about you yourselves, Karen. You're originally from New York, aren't you

00:07:25.920 --> 00:07:41.940 Karen Karbiener: I am a born and raised New Yorker. In fact, I am a member of the society of old Brooklynites, you've got to be Brooklyn born to be in that society that is the only club that Whitman ever joined so very proud Brooklynite

00:07:42.780 --> 00:07:51.570 Jeff Goodman: I gotta join, then I don't live in Brooklyn. Now, but I was born in Brooklyn spend most of my life there and I just had my 60th birthday, so I think I do classify as old at this point. So,

00:07:52.260 --> 00:07:59.280 Karen Karbiener: I'm not sure the old means the Brooklyn I themselves or or Brooklyn, but you are you are certainly eligible to join.

00:08:00.540 --> 00:08:12.450 Jeff Goodman: Role you from San Francisco. Another of the United States is amazing cities, people who migrate from coast to coast usually go from east to west, but you came in the other direction. What brought you to New York and to Brooklyn.

00:08:12.480 --> 00:08:24.660 Raul Rothblatt: Specifically I originally came here to study musical theatre composition. So I got a master's at NYU at the Tisch School of the Arts but i was i

00:08:25.560 --> 00:08:35.760 Raul Rothblatt: came to New York at a low point for musical theater. And I went off and started doing much more world music at that point. And around that time. That's when I sort of playing the

00:08:36.900 --> 00:08:38.910 Raul Rothblatt: Hungarian folk music with that electron

00:08:41.700 --> 00:08:50.100 Jeff Goodman: Karen. When did you decide to make the study of 19th century American literature and culture and the history behind it. Your life's work.

00:08:50.970 --> 00:09:00.180 Karen Karbiener: Well, you know, it's funny i i think that there is such a thing as a Witten maniac right or a Whitman night someone he has such a passionate following and

00:09:00.540 --> 00:09:21.660 Karen Karbiener: I fell into it quite late I was already in graduate school at Columbia and I wound up in a Whitman and Dickinson class and I guess just like the rest of his followers heard this direct confident and at the same time very personal voice speaking to me and as a

00:09:22.710 --> 00:09:36.510 Karen Karbiener: My family was working class. I think you know Whitman's down to earth sensibility, his background, the way that he talks to people and what he talks about just hit me very hard in graduate school, so

00:09:37.530 --> 00:09:44.820 Karen Karbiener: That's, that's when it took off for me. But it's taken several years to develop this sort of cultural activism that I'm doing now.

00:09:45.780 --> 00:09:54.480 Jeff Goodman: I love that term with mania reminds me of true to Amelia with, you know, mania around someone who people, you know, love, for some reason, um,

00:09:55.230 --> 00:10:06.360 Jeff Goodman: Was there anything. What, what was it to you about Whitman that set him apart from from other writers and other thinkers who who were influential at that time.

00:10:07.410 --> 00:10:13.740 Karen Karbiener: Well, I think, probably some of the things that bring me to this show, you know, as it as a New Yorker. I was really interested in

00:10:14.280 --> 00:10:21.750 Karen Karbiener: This oddball urban poet in the middle of the 19th century, I'd actually gone to Columbia to study the Romantic poets and they

00:10:22.230 --> 00:10:33.240 Karen Karbiener: You know Wordsworth Keats Shelley there. They love the outdoors. The city is the place of disgrace. Right. It's about moving out the wild and here is this poet that takes it the other way.

00:10:33.900 --> 00:10:45.570 Karen Karbiener: Comes from Long Island when he was four years old settles in New York and in Brooklyn, specifically sees a beginning of American poetry, which which he accomplishes

00:10:46.860 --> 00:11:02.970 Jeff Goodman: Wow. Um, I have to make one correction and I should have known this because I'm kind of a Political Junkie. And I know people in politics, Senator Jesse Hamilton is retired. I just found that out so apologies. Some of my friends who work in the Senate would kill me for having, having

00:11:03.000 --> 00:11:05.100 Raul Rothblatt: Having made that my god you know no

00:11:06.900 --> 00:11:13.980 Jeff Goodman: But well before I ask you about your efforts with historic preservation. How did you get engaged and working in community affairs for a state senator

00:11:14.550 --> 00:11:32.940 Raul Rothblatt: Well, I was, I kind of left the political world. And it was actually Atlantic yards, that the battle. I live in prospect heights. And so, and it was really a sense that if I don't get involved, nobody else would you know it was really up to our kind of

00:11:34.290 --> 00:11:52.020 Raul Rothblatt: oddball group of activists and so it gave me a sense of kind of personal responsibility and very soon after that I met mama Joy. Joy Chatel and so the fight at that point there was two battles against eminent domain of view so

00:11:53.370 --> 00:12:07.020 Raul Rothblatt: The New York State was taking property private, public, and other to build Atlantic yards and they were also taking various properties to build a this small park in a downtown Brooklyn.

00:12:07.560 --> 00:12:16.380 Raul Rothblatt: Duffield which I should add, this is the 2003 and the Bloomberg administration. They never finished, it's still an empty lot of land so

00:12:17.580 --> 00:12:36.480 Raul Rothblatt: This, the fight against eminent domain kind of pulled me in and also mama joy pulled me in because she was just so loving and welcoming and you know she gave everybody a role to play and I have a role to play, which was fantastic. And you know, I think.

00:12:38.670 --> 00:12:41.730 Raul Rothblatt: It's something I'm so grateful for so lucky.

00:12:44.010 --> 00:12:58.320 Jeff Goodman: Well, let's let's go to the building's themselves. Let's go back to Whitman and 99 Ryerson street in for green. I'm Karen, how did Whitman wind up in Brooklyn. What, what brought him and his family there because he's from Long Island originally

00:12:59.070 --> 00:13:17.130 Karen Karbiener: six generations of Long Islanders. They were the Whitman's were here for a very long time since the 1600s, they had been very successful farmers and if you go out to the Whitman birthplace in West hills right outside of Huntington on Long Island, you can see a house that his father built

00:13:18.570 --> 00:13:28.440 Karen Karbiener: And I think that's really where it started because his dad had when he was younger gone into New York City and basically interned for an uncle.

00:13:28.980 --> 00:13:38.760 Karen Karbiener: In a Venetian blind factory so Whitman senior got at least for carpentry and designing buildings, you know, rural architecture.

00:13:39.120 --> 00:13:48.540 Karen Karbiener: That kind of went over, especially when Long Island had a hard time because in 1816 there was something called the Year Without a Summer

00:13:49.020 --> 00:14:00.690 Karen Karbiener: So crops never ripened it never got hot enough that year to to sort of everything come to full fruition. So for years after that farmers had a really hard time

00:14:01.470 --> 00:14:11.640 Karen Karbiener: Which is putting two and two together. I would say that Whitman senior left the family farm. He really left six generations of a Whitman's out there.

00:14:12.150 --> 00:14:22.950 Karen Karbiener: In 1823 when his second son Walt was just four years old. And because he saw in Brooklyn, a building boom right a chance to kind of like capitalize on his carpentry skills.

00:14:23.490 --> 00:14:32.190 Karen Karbiener: And I think Walt inherited some of his father's Maverick independence, right, this was like a new place this incredible city.

00:14:33.330 --> 00:14:42.450 Karen Karbiener: And they settled there when Whitman was born, as I said, and so Whitman's New York City years basically go from 1823

00:14:42.810 --> 00:14:47.670 Karen Karbiener: To 1862 when he leaves for the Civil War from so he

00:14:48.420 --> 00:14:50.940 Jeff Goodman: Was probably a prescient fishing business move or

00:14:51.540 --> 00:15:01.110 Jeff Goodman: To be because Brooklyn had started it actually in the waterfront boomed a lot after the opening of the Erie Canal, but the canal was being built in the early 1820s.

00:15:01.500 --> 00:15:11.250 Jeff Goodman: So the anticipation was that there would be a whole lot more business and I wasn't there, but I'm guessing that they were investors and people who were building up businesses that would have supported

00:15:11.850 --> 00:15:16.410 Jeff Goodman: Shipping and Docs, which we're going to talk about a little bit later in the program as well. We're

00:15:16.590 --> 00:15:22.620 Karen Karbiener: Getting internally, you know, like you're talking about externally with the with the Erie Canal, which is right, but then

00:15:22.950 --> 00:15:32.760 Karen Karbiener: You know the Croton reservoir was developed during Whitman's early years in New York, and there was such a momentum behind the city. I'm fond of telling my students that

00:15:33.150 --> 00:15:53.160 Karen Karbiener: Whitman in New York came of age together. You know those 1840s 50s, 60s years really saw the ripening of New York into a metropolis. And that's exactly when Whitman is right there enjoying the opera wandering the streets, there must have been such an energy in the air at that time.

00:15:53.880 --> 00:15:57.150 Jeff Goodman: And of course it's Brooklyn, which the three of us all love. So we have to say that

00:15:58.080 --> 00:16:07.950 Jeff Goodman: We're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation about landmarks to important buildings in Brooklyn with Karen Carpenter and roll rough that will be back in a moment.

00:18:11.190 --> 00:18:22.410 Jeff Goodman: We're back to rediscovering New York and our special episode about saving cultural landmarks specifically to structures in Brooklyn. My guests are Karen Carpenter and roll rock flat.

00:18:23.550 --> 00:18:36.930 Jeff Goodman: Karen Walt Whitman was gay. How did his sexual orientation influence not only his writing but also who he was as an activist. I don't think they had the term activist in those days, but he really wasn't accurate.

00:18:37.890 --> 00:18:48.180 Karen Karbiener: He was an activist, I would call him the first LGBT q plus activists that we had, he's also very much a neighborhood activists, because I know

00:18:48.510 --> 00:19:09.120 Karen Karbiener: That you know also that he basically founded Brooklyn's first official part for green part, but as a you know it's he lived at a time when the word homosexual was not in common parlance, that was invented in 1860s, Germany and kind of slowly drifted over here. So,

00:19:09.240 --> 00:19:11.490 Raul Rothblatt: Actually, it can vary in term if I could jump in.

00:19:11.940 --> 00:19:14.880 Raul Rothblatt: Oh, Hungarian, and as a way to

00:19:15.930 --> 00:19:16.950 Raul Rothblatt: To end the

00:19:18.120 --> 00:19:23.850 Raul Rothblatt: demonization to that was supposed to make it less less of an insult.

00:19:25.650 --> 00:19:25.980 Karen Karbiener: Right.

00:19:26.310 --> 00:19:27.480 Raul Rothblatt: Without a look that one up.

00:19:27.720 --> 00:19:37.290 Karen Karbiener: No thank you. Well, I know I appreciate that. That's fascinating because it also as soon as you have a term like that, it, it creates a group right and identity.

00:19:37.770 --> 00:19:43.980 Karen Karbiener: And a lot of Whitman's writings through the 1850s, when he was living in New York and actively cruising.

00:19:44.910 --> 00:19:53.880 Karen Karbiener: On the streets of Manhattan frequenting of a bar called Fox beer cellar down near Bleecker and Broadway and meeting men every night.

00:19:54.360 --> 00:20:12.570 Karen Karbiener: I mean, this was a time of incredible self exploration for him. When you look at photos of Whitman through time. We've got some early photos of him when he's still in his 30s, EARLY 30s and he's looking very conventional and traditional traditional beard.

00:20:13.650 --> 00:20:26.280 Karen Karbiener: Very dandy like outfit. And then in 1855 when he produces Leaves of Grass, something happens to him right this shirt collar gets loosened up. He was looking directly at the camera.

00:20:26.760 --> 00:20:34.890 Karen Karbiener: And we think that somewhere in there. He had his first Homo sexual experience somewhere maybe New Orleans.

00:20:35.280 --> 00:20:46.140 Karen Karbiener: But it was an incredibly important part of Whitman's identity, something that puts him on the outside of mainstream culture and he used that position, quite often in his poetry.

00:20:46.620 --> 00:20:54.360 Karen Karbiener: So we're talking about a poet who never had the conventional Victorian family right he never got married, he never had children.

00:20:55.440 --> 00:21:04.710 Karen Karbiener: Saw everything a little bit from the outside, but I feel like at the same time was able to identify with so many groups that were not

00:21:05.160 --> 00:21:23.580 Karen Karbiener: Put into poem poetry. So as as he writes about in in Song of Myself, he's speaking for all the long dumb voices people who have not had voice before and being gay before the word homosexual is invented really put him at that spot.

00:21:26.460 --> 00:21:36.600 Jeff Goodman: You wrote many of the poems in Leaves of Grass. The republishing Leaves of Grass. And by the way, there wasn't one publication that were there were many printings of in many different editions. He updated it

00:21:36.930 --> 00:21:45.330 Jeff Goodman: He wrote it at 99 Ryerson Street, what kind of impact did the publication of the first edition have in 1865

00:21:45.930 --> 00:21:51.270 Karen Karbiener: Oh geez, I think what would have loved more of an impact the book really didn't sell

00:21:52.050 --> 00:22:02.790 Karen Karbiener: Remember, he goes to he goes to Brooklyn with his dad, and he's a some time editor reporter, but he's also a carpenter, he's building houses. This is not a poet.

00:22:03.240 --> 00:22:12.030 Karen Karbiener: So when he publishes Leaves of Grass this collection of 12 poems in 1855 there is no precedent, he he dropped out of school at age 11

00:22:12.540 --> 00:22:20.790 Karen Karbiener: Um, you know, he doesn't have any mentors. He has no money, and yet he's putting out this book. Leaves of Grass in the hopes of changing American poetry.

00:22:21.270 --> 00:22:29.970 Karen Karbiener: And the book flops and actually the only reason that it started taking off is that Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was the

00:22:30.330 --> 00:22:38.430 Karen Karbiener: Dawn of American literature at that moment writes him an incredible letter said to be the most important letter in American literature.

00:22:38.910 --> 00:22:52.800 Karen Karbiener: And basically says to Whitman I greet you at the beginning of a great career, which is pretty amazing because Emerson was a bit of approved and later retracted his fondness for Whitman and told Whitman to to tone it down a little bit.

00:22:53.100 --> 00:23:02.400 Karen Karbiener: And that letter I think put wall over the edge. And as you said he kept on republishing Leaves of Grass throughout his life so

00:23:02.730 --> 00:23:12.540 Karen Karbiener: The next year in 1856 he comes out with the second edition of Leaves of Grass. It's got 35 more poems, including crossing Brooklyn fairy, the great Brooklyn poem

00:23:12.990 --> 00:23:24.780 Karen Karbiener: And throughout his life he keeps on putting out this book called Leaves of Grass, but with more poems and the older poems edited, they're always personalized and put up to date with politics and dates.

00:23:25.290 --> 00:23:37.680 Karen Karbiener: He writes about his weight, he writes about his you know his, his age. Everything continues to get updated until 1892 when he produces that last so called deathbed edition.

00:23:38.400 --> 00:23:41.310 Jeff Goodman: And that's when he was living in Camden, New Jersey. I think at the end of his life.

00:23:41.910 --> 00:23:50.910 Jeff Goodman: And women also want to remind our listeners. He was a reporter at the Brooklyn daily Eagle known as soon as the Brooklyn eagle and he was fired, partly because

00:23:51.150 --> 00:24:05.280 Jeff Goodman: Of his abolition his views. We're going to talk about that a little bit with our second guest. When we talk about Duffield street Karen women moved to Washington and and took up a very, very good cause that really helped other human beings. You want to talk about that.

00:24:06.210 --> 00:24:13.740 Karen Karbiener: Yeah. In late December 1862 he got when that his younger brother George had been wounded down

00:24:14.340 --> 00:24:21.450 Karen Karbiener: In the Civil War Whitman himself was too old to fight. And besides, was a pacifist and would have never agreed to do it.

00:24:21.870 --> 00:24:29.070 Karen Karbiener: But when he went down to look for George and he saw the devastation and the soldiers that were wounded, he decided to stay

00:24:29.550 --> 00:24:39.780 Karen Karbiener: And that really marks the end of his New York years he moves to Washington. He takes up of all things, a job as a clerk in a in a desk job in an office in Washington.

00:24:40.260 --> 00:24:48.450 Karen Karbiener: And during the evenings. He goes into the hospital tents that are set up all around Washington DC and he tends to the soldiers.

00:24:49.110 --> 00:24:55.590 Karen Karbiener: Famously writing hundreds and hundreds of letters for soldiers that are disabled or don't know how to write

00:24:56.070 --> 00:25:02.280 Karen Karbiener: To their families and composes these poems that were in a collection called drum taps.

00:25:02.760 --> 00:25:10.320 Karen Karbiener: Greatest Civil War poems greatest war poems ever written that don't even feature the war, they are about the wounded.

00:25:10.620 --> 00:25:18.240 Karen Karbiener: They are about the hearts that are broken the families that are broken. It's the first time we get war poetry that doesn't just glorify

00:25:18.780 --> 00:25:25.080 Karen Karbiener: The, the fighting and the warfront so he winds up volunteering as a civil war. Nurse.

00:25:25.500 --> 00:25:40.500 Karen Karbiener: And one of my students just wrote a paper on this and said, Whitman was really a therapist, which is true because he sat by the sides of these the bedsides of these young men who often really didn't know what they were doing. There had been called away from their families.

00:25:41.610 --> 00:25:54.480 Karen Karbiener: And tended to the mentally, physically and spiritually. He brought them things last requests. He'd go around with little notebooks that you can now see at the Library of Congress.

00:25:54.810 --> 00:26:03.420 Karen Karbiener: Where he would note the bed number and the illness of the of the man that was in there. And the last request for hound candy ice cream.

00:26:03.780 --> 00:26:11.220 Karen Karbiener: And he would spend his money when he came back and he would bring those things into the tense with stamps and paper to write the letters.

00:26:11.460 --> 00:26:19.470 Karen Karbiener: And so it's just about as close to sainthood as you can imagine, and actually I think about it a lot today with the corona.

00:26:19.950 --> 00:26:38.430 Karen Karbiener: Crisis and the idea of really someone who goes in there right who practices, what he preaches doesn't just write about it from the sidelines, but actually just goes down there and does some good I think we really need another Walt Whitman these days.

00:26:38.910 --> 00:26:47.100 Jeff Goodman: Well, there's another thing that he did. But before I do that, I want to remind well mentioned that Whitman lived in 30 places in the New York area.

00:26:47.460 --> 00:26:52.740 Jeff Goodman: And 99 Ryerson is the only one that's still standing, which is one of the reasons why it's so important to get a landmark

00:26:53.730 --> 00:27:02.700 Jeff Goodman: One of the things that's not well known about about Whitman was his attitude about embracing something about the United States. That to me is so important and so beautiful.

00:27:03.210 --> 00:27:14.820 Jeff Goodman: And really essential to our national character and that's immigration and he also embraced immigration at a time when many people were against immigration and immigrants, not only in the US, but in the cities of New York and Brooklyn.

00:27:16.050 --> 00:27:24.780 Jeff Goodman: How was his poetry and his activism influenced by his appreciation for differences of people and where they came from.

00:27:25.500 --> 00:27:33.390 Karen Karbiener: Well he's living in the right place. First of all right if he would have stayed out on Long Island. There wasn't much going on out there, the same families rotating, you know,

00:27:33.690 --> 00:27:41.970 Karen Karbiener: Leaving coming. But when he got to Brooklyn. The world opened up to him and he would write again in these little notebooks everything that he would see

00:27:43.470 --> 00:27:55.140 Karen Karbiener: I was reading about the other day. A lot of people don't know that around where Fort Greene Park is there was actually an Irish ghetto, they're probably not the only one in New York, right, the Irish were everywhere.

00:27:56.220 --> 00:27:57.990 Jeff Goodman: But in living in vinegar Hill, which

00:27:58.200 --> 00:28:00.030 Jeff Goodman: You know, for the for the down slope.

00:28:01.020 --> 00:28:09.300 Karen Karbiener: And that's interesting. I'll have to look that one up and I was just reading about this particular ghetto near Fort Greene park where

00:28:09.600 --> 00:28:18.600 Karen Karbiener: They lived in shacks, you know, it was really horrible right animals running around everywhere and Whitman wrote in the Brooklyn daily Eagle about

00:28:19.020 --> 00:28:32.280 Karen Karbiener: The, the life that he saw there, right. The, the variety of people and the the generosity of families. The fact that they were community building, even in these ghettos. So Whitman.

00:28:32.790 --> 00:28:44.040 Karen Karbiener: You know, some people just have a much more open sensibility and Whitman came to New York, I guess, prepared to embrace the masses that way and in his poetry.

00:28:44.640 --> 00:29:00.870 Karen Karbiener: Writes quite openly about all these different people. I'm reminded of I Sing the Body Electric which is a great poem to look at if you're thinking about equality, not just of people around the world, but also of the black person.

00:29:02.100 --> 00:29:18.330 Karen Karbiener: And in that poem. He actually imagines a black man up on a block at auction. And he says, and probably based on his trip to New Orleans where that was the first time Whitman could have seen anything like this.

00:29:19.140 --> 00:29:32.550 Karen Karbiener: And in I Sing the Body Electric electric he writes, I help the auctioneer. You know, the slevin does not know half know his business. And he starts talking about how priceless that human body is up there.

00:29:33.090 --> 00:29:46.680 Karen Karbiener: And comparing that body to white bodies to yellow bodies to read bodies and then ultimately even puts in a statement for black nationhood in 1855 and says to the reader.

00:29:47.370 --> 00:30:01.110 Karen Karbiener: What might you discover if you look back through the centuries. Like, who was your granddaddy so uh in his poetry Whitman was incredibly open hearted and outspoken about

00:30:01.800 --> 00:30:11.760 Karen Karbiener: All different races and really I think I credited again to being in Brooklyn and to having Manhattan across the way, just being exposed to the world.

00:30:14.280 --> 00:30:25.080 Jeff Goodman: And such. So he gave us so much and what a great man. He was for us it's wired supporting to to landmark. The only place that is still here that he lived in in New York, but also where he wrote

00:30:26.250 --> 00:30:33.720 Jeff Goodman: Many of the poems that are in additions of Leaves of Grass. We're gonna take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation.

00:30:34.170 --> 00:30:44.790 Jeff Goodman: With Karen Carpenter and rah rah flat about when marketing attempts to landmark to lesser known building some Brooklyn, but that are important for our cultural history will be back in a moment.

00:32:59.160 --> 00:33:07.830 Jeff Goodman: We're back and you're back to rediscovering New York support for the program comes from our sponsors Christopher pappas mortgage specialist to TD Bank.

00:33:08.340 --> 00:33:18.780 Jeff Goodman: To find out how Chris can help you with all your residential homework needs and tailor a mortgage that's right for you. Please give Chris a call at 203-512-3918

00:33:19.530 --> 00:33:31.710 Jeff Goodman: And support also comes from the Law Offices of Thomas sciatica specializing in wills estate planning probate and inheritance litigation Tom and his staff can be reached at 212-495-0317

00:33:32.820 --> 00:33:40.860 Jeff Goodman: Our show is about New York in the myriad textures of our amazing city there's another great show on the air about New York and specifically about the business of real estate.

00:33:41.340 --> 00:33:51.090 Jeff Goodman: Good morning, New York with Vince Rocco my friend and colleague of Halston Vince's show airs live on Tuesday mornings at 9am on voice America calm and also on podcast.

00:33:51.810 --> 00:34:05.280 Jeff Goodman: You can like to show on Facebook. And you can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter. My handles. There are Jeff Goodman NYC. If you have comments or questions or if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me, Jeff at rediscovering New York dot NYC.

00:34:06.480 --> 00:34:12.720 Jeff Goodman: One of the notes before we continue our conversation, even though rediscovering New York is not a show about the real estate business in New York.

00:34:13.380 --> 00:34:19.320 Jeff Goodman: When I'm not on the air. I am indeed a real estate agent in our amazing city but I help my clients buy sale lease and rent property.

00:34:20.040 --> 00:34:31.980 Jeff Goodman: If you or someone you care about is considering a move into out of a within New York. I would love to help you with all those real estate needs. You can reach me and my team at 646-306-4761

00:34:33.150 --> 00:34:43.770 Jeff Goodman: Well, I want to move on to our second property on the special program about efforts to landmark cultural building buildings that have cultural and historical significance for us in New York.

00:34:44.340 --> 00:35:00.510 Jeff Goodman: And specifically, that's 227 Duffield Street. It's about a mile away from Whitman sold residents at 99 wires industry, but it's a little different. Anyone who knows the streets in downtown Brooklyn. Unlike for green parts of which really haven't changed since the 19 century.

00:35:01.530 --> 00:35:16.080 Jeff Goodman: This part of downtown Brooklyn is very different. Now, it's very built very highly built lots of developments, a lot of the area went up in the first part of the 20th century, but there is a little old building right there on to 27 Duffield Street.

00:35:17.250 --> 00:35:18.780 Jeff Goodman: It was built around 1850

00:35:20.220 --> 00:35:35.460 Jeff Goodman: Role before we explored the building itself. Let's talk a little about the times politically and also in literary writings in Brooklyn. At the time, there was some interesting things going on. Also, having to do with immigration around the time of 1848 in Brooklyn, New York, aren't there.

00:35:37.140 --> 00:35:49.740 Raul Rothblatt: Yeah, this was an amazing time of revolution 1848 and in the United States, people know the Seneca the women's convention in Seneca Falls.

00:35:50.790 --> 00:35:57.210 Raul Rothblatt: Which was considered the lawn for the women's movement in Europe. It was a period of revolution and a lot of

00:35:57.930 --> 00:36:04.170 Raul Rothblatt: A lot of immigrants came over and I tried to make a distinction between Hungarian and German. At one point, but

00:36:05.100 --> 00:36:20.070 Raul Rothblatt: They were at that point. There wasn't a distinction because at that point, Hungary, would have been part of the Habsburg Empire. So there were Hungarian immigrants who came up during the Germans, there was all sorts of a wave of immigrants and

00:36:21.450 --> 00:36:44.580 Raul Rothblatt: This is also you have to think of richest right soon after are kind of during the Industrial Revolution. So all of society societal norms. We're changing at that point before the whole agrarian economy was just being replaced by a more industrial era, and that had such implications.

00:36:46.200 --> 00:37:01.380 Raul Rothblatt: For what people could also conceive of as what would be possible, and I am you know we're talking about the true sales. Today I testified about the social movements that they were involved in. Yes, they were involved in the in the

00:37:02.520 --> 00:37:07.500 Raul Rothblatt: Anti slavery abolitionist movement, but they're also involved in prohibition. And when you think of that.

00:37:08.130 --> 00:37:20.160 Raul Rothblatt: Here is an idea like let's change the way people live, you know, we, why do, why do people by their husbands have to get drunk and beat up their wives, we can change that you know it. That was nationalism was also

00:37:20.730 --> 00:37:30.600 Raul Rothblatt: A progressive idea at that point when you think about it, you're, you're fighting the kings and queens. They were the point 1% of the time. So, no, we're going to have

00:37:31.500 --> 00:37:48.120 Raul Rothblatt: A society based on our common interests and you know that became what nationalism, which is kind of considered anti liberal pieces. So, and then you also have the debates over slavery going on. You have the fugitive slave back which

00:37:49.350 --> 00:37:58.290 Raul Rothblatt: You know, right now everyone's talking about defending the police and and all those debates but this one is in the sense, a much more

00:37:59.100 --> 00:38:12.690 Raul Rothblatt: Deadly conversation because at that point. Any African American anybody a color it, as they were called at that time could have been sent back to the south as a slave and

00:38:13.800 --> 00:38:15.900 Jeff Goodman: And that was wasn't the first arrest of the net.

00:38:16.470 --> 00:38:20.250 Jeff Goodman: As a result of the fugitive slave acted that actually take place in New York City or

00:38:20.310 --> 00:38:32.160 Raul Rothblatt: Brooklyn. It was in it was in Williamsburg James Hamlet. And this was a big cars at that at that time raising money to get his freedom, I believe it was

00:38:37.440 --> 00:38:45.990 Raul Rothblatt: But this was, yeah, this is very much at a local fight as well. And the, the idea of having Southern slavery.

00:38:47.580 --> 00:38:57.000 Raul Rothblatt: impacted the life in in the north and New York. It has to be repeated over and over again was a huge supporter of the Southern slave system.

00:38:57.750 --> 00:39:05.160 Raul Rothblatt: And the Fernanda would in 1861 the mayor of New York City wanted to succeed at that point. New York City was a separate

00:39:05.760 --> 00:39:16.230 Raul Rothblatt: Separate city, but he wanted to start a new country which would have included Brooklyn in Long Island, and a lot of Brooklyn leaders supported that because

00:39:17.070 --> 00:39:25.830 Raul Rothblatt: Not only was the fight the financial ties to the south, important that the ideological ties for were strong to and my daughter goes to doctor

00:39:26.910 --> 00:39:39.240 Raul Rothblatt: What do you think was so the doc and those docs and doc Street, it was, it was good brought by enslaved Americans. And occasionally, you would have people trying to liberate themselves and you'd find

00:39:39.690 --> 00:39:47.070 Raul Rothblatt: That there would occasionally be a dead body that would that would show up on the, on the, on the docks of Brooklyn. So, and

00:39:48.420 --> 00:40:04.860 Raul Rothblatt: So at that time. You also have the founding of the law of the black churches weeksville which is basically the largest free black community was founded around 1838 intentionally with the idea of having a free black community they

00:40:06.120 --> 00:40:06.750 Raul Rothblatt: New York

00:40:09.030 --> 00:40:28.350 Raul Rothblatt: ended slavery in 1827 but we kept raising the bar for to vote the suffrage requirements got tougher and tougher because of people like Tunis Bergen so African Americans had to find their own community where they could buy land, and that's what weeksville was

00:40:29.490 --> 00:40:30.000 Raul Rothblatt: Founded on

00:40:30.480 --> 00:40:36.450 Jeff Goodman: It, you know, New York is known now is such a liberal place. But so much of the city's economy was tied up

00:40:37.170 --> 00:40:45.690 Jeff Goodman: With the business of what the South was producing, you know, manufacturing, shipping, you know, ancillary business services including financial services. In fact,

00:40:46.350 --> 00:40:58.500 Jeff Goodman: New Yorkers did not support Abraham Lincoln 1860 and George McClellan who ran against them in 1864 actually got more votes in New York City and and Brooklyn than a link and it'll their new york state as a whole, got

00:40:59.700 --> 00:41:01.080 Jeff Goodman: Went for Lincoln. Let's

00:41:02.340 --> 00:41:16.740 Jeff Goodman: Talk about abolitionists. The 227 Duffield Street. What, what role did the building play in having abolitionists, there was. Was there any Underground Railroad activity that that happened to 27 Duffield

00:41:17.190 --> 00:41:22.410 Raul Rothblatt: So there was some debate about Underground Railroad activity. And you could say, oh,

00:41:23.430 --> 00:41:30.180 Raul Rothblatt: It was a secret activity. So there's not going to be a whole lot of documentation of it, but I also think

00:41:30.840 --> 00:41:46.650 Raul Rothblatt: And it's not always clear what that was. I mean, if, if somebody was looking for a place for the night, you know, or if you just gave them dinner with that, you know, would that make you part of the Underground Railroad. I think the lines are we try to make these lines a little more

00:41:47.760 --> 00:41:53.670 Raul Rothblatt: Clear than they would have been at the time, there were a lot of the abolitionists who live on documents.

00:41:54.750 --> 00:41:57.120 Raul Rothblatt: And some of the members of Plymouth church.

00:41:58.650 --> 00:41:59.640 Jeff Goodman: Which is in Brooklyn Heights.

00:41:59.850 --> 00:42:12.960 Raul Rothblatt: Which which is in Brooklyn Heights, not that far away, William furniture was one of very fierce abolitionists who actually had a lot of influence on the Plymouth church and he lived right around there as well.

00:42:16.500 --> 00:42:33.420 Raul Rothblatt: We do know that there were so few key seven Duffield was on a block of houses built around that time at 47 1850 they all had tunnels connecting them underneath this is very well documented. This is on the maps at the time and

00:42:33.480 --> 00:42:43.830 Jeff Goodman: I was in a house today that had a tunnel and for green or Jason to Fort Greene park that they had a tunnel that was blocked off, you know, sometime after the Civil War. Yeah, because that

00:42:44.820 --> 00:42:50.640 Raul Rothblatt: There's lots of reasons. I mean, a lot of this step is mysterious. We don't really know everything that went on there.

00:42:51.600 --> 00:43:01.080 Raul Rothblatt: But there's very clear. If you go in the basement TP seven dot zero. You can see it's down big stones in one area and then there's a brick thing. It's very you can touch it. You can feel it and

00:43:03.000 --> 00:43:09.540 Raul Rothblatt: And I mean, for me, actually, that kind of metaphor. I mean, it's Underground Railroad was was a marketing.

00:43:10.590 --> 00:43:21.030 Raul Rothblatt: Marketing label. Anyway, at the time, but it was, it's also something that it captures people's imagination. You can go into that basement and touch that and

00:43:22.230 --> 00:43:36.900 Raul Rothblatt: The truth cells will also involved in other things like the free cotton, so they Thomas Truesdell sold cotton that did not depend on slave labor. So, you know, there's many kind of angles to this.

00:43:38.700 --> 00:43:53.160 Jeff Goodman: We're going to take a break in a couple of minutes, but I want to fast forward to after the Civil War. Oh, I mean many Americans think of the civil rights movement. Being spawned after the Second World War, especially with the bus boycott in Montgomery in 1955

00:43:54.330 --> 00:44:09.330 Jeff Goodman: After Rosa Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus, but the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement was actually much earlier. How did the abolitionist movement, especially that was based in Brooklyn, New York turn into the civil rights movement have to be more

00:44:09.660 --> 00:44:10.410 Jeff Goodman: As the Civil War.

00:44:10.980 --> 00:44:16.110 Raul Rothblatt: There were many movements at that time and and and

00:44:17.700 --> 00:44:26.490 Raul Rothblatt: One movement, for instance, we talked about the NAACP is usually considered one of the early movements their movements before that, as well. Even within the black community.

00:44:26.970 --> 00:44:40.200 Raul Rothblatt: And we're at today was talking about some of the literary units that you know this in the churches the churches were very radical organizations and a lot of a lot of cases may they were very much organize politically.

00:44:41.280 --> 00:44:57.510 Raul Rothblatt: The one group, you were talking earlier offline about the Suffragettes the first black woman suffrage organization was founded in Brooklyn and 1888 the women's oil union. So this was really one of the first

00:44:59.700 --> 00:45:10.320 Raul Rothblatt: Black very consciously black organizations based on civil rights that was in lot of ways more radical than the N double A CP, which started a few decades later,

00:45:10.950 --> 00:45:22.650 Raul Rothblatt: And there were other other things and it's so complicated me that the abolitionist movement, but also to split between the Japanese and the garrison Ian's are the people who wanted to be more

00:45:25.020 --> 00:45:32.910 Raul Rothblatt: And to spread Christianity through abolition and then the women were not involved in 1830s, and then they were involved so

00:45:33.330 --> 00:45:47.220 Raul Rothblatt: There were so many different strands. But certainly the women had a very strong voice there too. And a lot of these really women's groups are also very strongly abolitionists, and you had somebody like Frederick Douglass.

00:45:48.660 --> 00:45:54.660 Raul Rothblatt: And it was just a fourth of July and everyone is setting up this thing about how Frederick Douglass spoke about

00:45:55.020 --> 00:46:02.280 Raul Rothblatt: The Fourth of July, how that could mean anything to African Americans, he said this in front of a women's group in Rochester.

00:46:02.850 --> 00:46:15.960 Raul Rothblatt: So the connections between women women's rights and African American Rights those back, you know, much to the 1830s and probably before you know i don't know everything before that.

00:46:18.030 --> 00:46:24.960 Jeff Goodman: Wow. Alright. Fascinating. We're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with Karen Carpenter of the world with an initiative.

00:46:25.770 --> 00:46:34.290 Jeff Goodman: And roll rock flat of five boroughs to freedom. We're going to talk specifically about efforts to landmark these two buildings after the break. We'll be back in a moment.

00:48:25.080 --> 00:48:34.260 Jeff Goodman: We're back to rediscovering New York and our special episode about trying to gain landmark status for cultural landmarks in New York, and specifically for two buildings and Brooklyn.

00:48:34.770 --> 00:48:45.270 Jeff Goodman: 99 Ryerson Street, which is the only structure left in New York City where Walt Whitman lead and to 27 Duffield Street, which was a locus for abolitionists.

00:48:46.230 --> 00:48:54.690 Jeff Goodman: Before the Civil War and for the Civil Rights Movement afterward. Let's move on to the efforts to landmark the buildings, I want to read a section from

00:48:55.290 --> 00:49:09.180 Jeff Goodman: The landmark preservation permission. It says to be designated in historic district by the New York City landmark preservation permission to post collection of buildings must represent at least one typical historic here to style have a distinct sense of place and have a coherent streetscape

00:49:10.770 --> 00:49:19.200 Jeff Goodman: Why did Karen. Why did the lead more preservation permission turn down 99 wires into consideration of landmark status, three years ago when I first considered it

00:49:20.040 --> 00:49:27.120 Karen Karbiener: Well, if we could show the viewers what it looks like it. I wouldn't have to explain it. So seen it, but it is a

00:49:27.600 --> 00:49:43.200 Karen Karbiener: It's covered with vinyl siding and it has an additional story put on it in the late 19th century. So for the Landmarks Preservation Commission. This building is out of step with the way that it looked when Whitman was in there.

00:49:43.770 --> 00:49:50.220 Karen Karbiener: And they also said that he didn't live there long enough because Whitman probably lived in there for about a year.

00:49:51.210 --> 00:50:06.030 Karen Karbiener: Of course, our take the as people who would like to see this landmark is that Whitman moved everywhere. This was sort of an economic thing right he had an alcoholic father who moved the family constantly as he built and then sold houses.

00:50:07.560 --> 00:50:14.190 Karen Karbiener: And I think it's also economics, when you look at a place like 99 wires Street. This is not a street where people

00:50:15.480 --> 00:50:21.120 Karen Karbiener: Maybe know about historic preservation or, you know, have valued something like that over time.

00:50:21.630 --> 00:50:40.200 Karen Karbiener: This building, much like to 27 Duffield has changed and grown with the neighborhood and with the times. So it does not look like it is out of a 19th century storybook it definitely looks like a working class Brooklyn house it's it's

00:50:41.370 --> 00:50:49.800 Karen Karbiener: Increasingly, looking very odd where it is because that neighborhood is gentrifying quickly, which is another worry of ours, just a couple of

00:50:51.030 --> 00:50:57.690 Karen Karbiener: houses down. There's a big nice condo going up on the corner of Myrtle and Ryerson And anyone who's walked down

00:50:58.830 --> 00:51:09.510 Karen Karbiener: Myrtle lately. You know that Myrtle going east is getting more and more gentrified there's all sorts of new shopping there. It's just a really different neighborhood.

00:51:11.190 --> 00:51:18.900 Karen Karbiener: But the charm of the house. And the reason that we would like to save it is like the same thing that happened when Emerson went to go see Whitman in November.

00:51:19.710 --> 00:51:30.240 Karen Karbiener: 1855 and you know VISITORS LIKE thermo came up to the door and they said, This looks like a mechanic's house no sort of code word for a working class house.

00:51:30.720 --> 00:51:42.030 Karen Karbiener: So for me, and the activists that I work with, you know, we love this about the house I take my students there. And I think just looking at it as a lesson that greatness can start anywhere.

00:51:42.510 --> 00:51:58.020 Karen Karbiener: Right, that that American Poetry is actually born on the streets of working class Brooklyn that house reflects that history and and it, it looks like it's been through a hard. A HARD TIME Well, much like your to 27 yeah

00:51:58.530 --> 00:52:02.520 Raul Rothblatt: Oh yeah, we have very much similar problems can, if I can.

00:52:02.760 --> 00:52:06.090 Jeff Goodman: Yeah, yeah, no, there's, I was about to ask you what the L'Amour Preservation Commission.

00:52:06.630 --> 00:52:09.330 Jeff Goodman: initially denied the application, but please go Ahead.

00:52:10.590 --> 00:52:11.670 Raul Rothblatt: Yeah, they

00:52:13.920 --> 00:52:25.110 Raul Rothblatt: Are I think there were also subject to some political pressure, though they would never might never admit that. But, um, there is a bias of the LPC against

00:52:25.800 --> 00:52:36.960 Raul Rothblatt: You know buildings that have changed. And I think it ends up being that you we tend to landmark the fancier buildings we we tend to landmark a certain class.

00:52:37.320 --> 00:52:50.970 Raul Rothblatt: Of inhabitants and not the more working class families as well. We had a lot of the same problems they, you know, they, the building had been modified and so they you know is generally not

00:52:52.110 --> 00:53:06.180 Raul Rothblatt: That's frowned upon, even though they're supposed to by law also consider social significant. So it was actually a big change when they landmark some wall in and some some buildings important to

00:53:06.600 --> 00:53:15.060 Raul Rothblatt: The LGBT movement, but then I think they'll probably afraid of that. Because then in Britain. Everyone said, well, if you could do that. And what about the abolitionists. What about

00:53:16.020 --> 00:53:25.950 Raul Rothblatt: Me. What about you know dancehall whatever you know so i think they're very hesitant as as a, you know, can save their bureaucratic.

00:53:28.530 --> 00:53:40.260 Raul Rothblatt: You know, then they have to deal with bureaucracy and legal challenges all the time. So if they opened the door a little bit you know somebody else has got to push that a little bit more, but sometimes they they take these things to

00:53:41.790 --> 00:53:49.920 Raul Rothblatt: Absurd links there is I think a pre revolutionary building in Staten Island, you know, built in the mid

00:53:51.060 --> 00:54:06.300 Raul Rothblatt: mid 1700s, but then I had an addition in the 1800s. And so no, it was no longer in the original form which is ridiculous because even the edition was was no almost 200 years old.

00:54:06.630 --> 00:54:10.860 Jeff Goodman: That that would be like saying that the marshmallow mentioned, which is the oldest building in Manhattan.

00:54:11.220 --> 00:54:17.700 Jeff Goodman: Is in genuine anymore because they added a section, you know, some years after the original house was constructed in 1765

00:54:18.120 --> 00:54:25.050 Jeff Goodman: Um, I want to ask one other question, but I'm to be sure that we don't run out of time. I wanted to, to give you an opportunity to

00:54:25.740 --> 00:54:32.910 Jeff Goodman: Give the contact information for the for the two organizations up, Karen. If someone wanted to get in touch with the Walt Whitman initiative, how would they do that.

00:54:33.360 --> 00:54:44.790 Karen Karbiener: And we would love for people to sign. We have a change.org petition to landmark. The. We call it the Leaves of Grass House since Whitman actually finished first edition of Leaves of Grass there.

00:54:45.300 --> 00:54:50.700 Karen Karbiener: And you can just go to change.org and find that just, you know, searching for Walt Whitman.

00:54:51.390 --> 00:55:03.390 Karen Karbiener: The Walt Whitman initiative, of course, has its own website Walt Whitman initiative.org and you can read all about our multi year campaign to try to get this House landmarked we as a

00:55:03.780 --> 00:55:12.180 Karen Karbiener: Browse organization. We've been turned down by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2017 but there is so much support for

00:55:12.570 --> 00:55:31.380 Karen Karbiener: Landmark in this House, and I must say that speaking now as a as a teacher and as a parent, and as a New Yorker. It is a lesson to stand in front of the house and and see where American poetry was born. But I'm getting a rel contact time here to say

00:55:32.460 --> 00:55:37.050 Jeff Goodman: Well, how can people get in touch with five boroughs to freedom and find out more about your organization.

00:55:37.590 --> 00:55:43.920 Raul Rothblatt: We have a Facebook page number five boroughs to freedom, the shorter spelling of gross.

00:55:45.120 --> 00:55:46.230 Raul Rothblatt: I also

00:55:47.790 --> 00:55:49.710 Raul Rothblatt: I get my historical

00:55:51.450 --> 00:56:01.890 Raul Rothblatt: When I get my historical out. I guess out. I usually go on Twitter at roll. Do, do, so I'm pretty active there and I would love to make more friends over there too so

00:56:03.060 --> 00:56:14.490 Jeff Goodman: Well, Great, well thank you both for being on the special program. I wish you both the best of success in getting these two important buildings landmarks on getting the Landmarks Preservation Commission to see the light

00:56:15.570 --> 00:56:23.730 Karen Karbiener: Thank you, Jeff. It's, it's actually shows like this that really helps get the word out, because as Ravel knows to it's just a matter of numbers.

00:56:24.150 --> 00:56:30.480 Karen Karbiener: And I was in on the on the hearing the public hearing for to 27 Duffield this morning to and it was so moving

00:56:30.870 --> 00:56:42.960 Karen Karbiener: To hear it, not just preservationist but regular people who catch wind of stuff like this on shows like yours, Jeff. So I think we're both really grateful for this conversation. Yeah, well,

00:56:43.410 --> 00:56:49.620 Raul Rothblatt: This this this hour fly by. But I wanted to thank Karen for testifying today. I mean, we are all

00:56:50.730 --> 00:56:51.090 Raul Rothblatt: Other

00:56:51.870 --> 00:56:53.010 Karen Karbiener: Oh yeah, it's

00:56:53.310 --> 00:56:54.780 Karen Karbiener: All in the Family

00:56:56.100 --> 00:56:57.810 Raul Rothblatt: And it's nice to have you guys is

00:56:57.810 --> 00:57:02.430 Raul Rothblatt: Always really really makes me happy warms my heart. Thank you. Well,

00:57:02.670 --> 00:57:15.570 Jeff Goodman: Well thank you both for being on the program and we've just finished this week's explorations specifically to the journey of two people who are trying to get some lesser known buildings landmark that are important in new york city's history and our culture.

00:57:16.860 --> 00:57:23.460 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments, questions about the show, or if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me, Jeff at rediscovering New York that NYC.

00:57:24.240 --> 00:57:29.400 Jeff Goodman: You can also like us on Facebook and you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter that's Jeff Goodman NYC.

00:57:30.210 --> 00:57:39.360 Jeff Goodman: I'd like to thank our sponsors Chris pappas mortgage banker to bank and the Law Offices of times the ACA specializing wills estate planning probate and hearing some patient

00:57:39.840 --> 00:57:44.430 Jeff Goodman: I'd also like to give a special thank you to Brad Vogel who introduced me to a couple of the guests this evening.

00:57:44.820 --> 00:57:48.750 Jeff Goodman: And who very much as here in spirit, even though he's on the go on his canal and I couldn't even around

00:57:49.290 --> 00:57:55.500 Jeff Goodman: And special remembrance to Greg tripping on. Oh, who was instrumental in putting together so much

00:57:56.070 --> 00:58:03.180 Jeff Goodman: Of appreciation for Fort Greene and Walt Whitman Greg sadly deported. This earth in February and he has missed greatly

00:58:04.080 --> 00:58:10.530 Jeff Goodman: One more thing before we sign off, I am Jeff Goodman, a real estate agent and Halston in New York City and whether you're selling, buying leasing or renting

00:58:10.980 --> 00:58:19.920 Jeff Goodman: My team and I provide the best service and expertise in New York City, real estate to help you with your real estate needs. You can reach us at 646-306-4761

00:58:21.060 --> 00:58:22.380 Jeff Goodman: Our producers Ralph story.

00:58:23.250 --> 00:58:26.100 Jeff Goodman: Our engineer this evening is the amazing Sam Leibowitz

00:58:26.670 --> 00:58:33.120 Jeff Goodman: Our special consultant for the program is David Griffin of landmark branding. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time.

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