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New York City has officially purchased the property at 227 Duffield Street, a 19th-century rowhouse in Downtown Brooklyn recently designated as a landmark for its ties to the abolitionist movement. The Landmarks Preservation Commission last month granted landmark status to the home, occupied by known abolitionists Harriet and Thomas Truesdell from 1851 to 1863, after years of advocacy and a threat by a developer to raze it and build a mixed-use building in its place. First Lady Chirlane McCray, who has been a vocal advocate for the preservation of the site, announced the purchase during Mayor Bill de Blasio’s briefing on Monday and said the deal ensures the property will be “protected and celebrated for a very long time.”
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All photos by Michael Appleton/NYC Mayor’s Office
A new art exhibition is open at Gracie Mansion, the fourth and final installation of Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray’s tenure. Catalyst: Art and Social Justice, which will also be the largest ever hosted at the historic home in Yorkville, features more than 75 works created by over 50 artists since the 1960s. With a focus on inclusion, the exhibit explores the connection between art, justice, and the social change movements behind it all.
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New York City is commissioning four more statues of trailblazing women as part of a campaign to address the inequity of the city’s public spaces. First lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen announced on Wednesday plans to honor Billie Holiday, Elizabeth Jennings Graham, Dr. Helen Rodríguez Trías, and Katherine Walker with monuments. In November, the city announced it would commission a statue of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress, to be built outside of the entrance to Prospect Park.
Photos courtesy of Roey Yohai Studio
Gracie Mansion, the residence of Mayor Bill de Blasio, is officially in full holiday spirit. The historic home, which dates back to 1799, is showing off decorations that promote some of the mayor’s top initiatives, plus the overall theme of togetherness. It’s all the work of New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray and renowned event planner Bryan Rafanelli, who have been refining the vision since this summer. This is Rafanelli’s second year working with McCray to decorate the people’s home of New York. For 2018, they selected jewel-toned colors, lots of ribbon, and even worked in some participation from New Yorkers.
Keep reading to figure out how the pair made it happen, an effort that includes bringing a 17-foot-tall tree through a narrow French door into the mansion’s ballroom. The images are sure to put you in a New York holiday spirit.