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Fern Luskin, Julie Finch ~ Manhattan's Underground Railroad

  • Broadcast in Culture
Gist of Freedom

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Tonight at 8pm ~Click and listen to Manhattan Underground Railroad Preservationists Fern Luskin and Julie M. Finch!  have successfully resisted the destruction of an Underground Railroad safe haven in Manhattan.  “It’s just come to this desperate situation,” said Fern Luskin, an architectural historian who lives on the block and has taken up the cause of protecting the historic integrity of the building, a Greek Revival house at 339 West 29th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. “
The original owners The Gibbonses, were abolitionists before the Civil War. They used the house as a meeting place, where they helped escaping slaves en route to Canada. “They were like the Schindler of their day, taking such a chance, harboring slaves that were running for their lives,” said Ms. Luskin, referring to Oskar Schindler, who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.
In a letter cited by the landmarks commission in its designation report, Joseph Choate, a friend of the Gibbonses, wrote that he had dined with them along with William Lloyd Garrison, the abolitionist, and a black man “on his way to freedom.”