A building in Greenwich Village that once served as the headquarters for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and housed W.E.B. DuBois’ trailblazing magazine The Crisis, could become a New York City landmark. The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to calendar 70 Fifth Avenue, a Neoclassical Beaux-Arts building designed by Charles A. Rich and built between 1912 and 1914. The commission also proposed the designation of two additional properties that “reflect New York City’s diverse history,” the Conference House Park Archaeological Site on Staten Island and the Holyrood Episcopal Church-Iglesia Santa Cruz in Washington Heights.
70 Fifth Avenue
When we think of great African American historic sites in New York, we typically think of Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Lower Manhattan’s African Burial Ground, or Brooklyn’s Weeksville Houses. But one building that should perhaps join the list is 70 Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village, which housed the headquarters of the NAACP, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization; The Crisis, the first magazine published for an African American audience; and the first magazine dedicated to African American children, meant to combat the commonplace demeaning stereotypes of the time, headed by none other than civil rights icon W.E.B. DuBois.