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Today's Featured Building: 2280 FDB


2280 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (2280 FDB) was completed in 2010. In 2009, a construction mishap caused minor injuries to five of the construction workers and six others who were taken to hospital and briefly trapped inside a neighboring pizzeria on 123rd Street. The workers were pouring concrete at the site when the wall suddenly collapsed falling onto the pizzeria. Others were treated at the scene. The building was reviewed by engineers. Fortunately it turned out to be a minor hiccup in the construction process.[1]

Frederick Douglas, author, orator, statesman, aged 29
The recent revitalization of this neighborhood has many speculating that FDB is Harlem’s Gold Coast and it is certainly going through a renaissance with exciting new shops and restaurants as well as a number of luxury condominium buildings such as the Lenox and the Langston, both firsts for their neighborhood. In addition, the luxury hotel built beside 2280 FDB is another sure sign of change in this neighborhood.

The neighborhood of Harlem has a rich African American history. Most of the major streets are named for important leaders, such as Malcom X, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and Martin Luther King. Named in 1977, for the abolitionist leader, Frederick Douglass, this street claims its place in the history of the neighborhood. The renaming of the streets was initiated by the Harlem Historical Society, under the direction of Jacob Morris.

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in Maryland, presumably in 1818. He was self-taught, and later became a prolific writer, orator, and statesman. He successfully taught himself to read and write and passed on this knowledge to other slaves sometimes teaching up to forty students in a week. He finally escaped slavery in 1838 and relocated to New York City with the help of his future wife, Anne Murray, a free woman living in Baltimore. His writings and lectures paved the way for the abolitionist movement in the United States.

His first autobiography, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” became an immediate bestseller and led to a two year speaking tour in England and Ireland. Douglass was instrumental in affecting policy prior to and after the Civil War. After returning home to the United States he continued his quest for abolition by producing a number of newspapers including The North Star, and others bearing his name.

He was a powerful supporter of women’s rights, was the first African American man to be nominated for Vice President, served in the Civil War as a recruiter for 54th Massachusetts Regiment. After the Civil War he was a supporter of President Grant who was instrumental in keeping the Klan from getting a foothold in the South by signing the Klan Act into law.

After the death of his first wife, he remarried. This second marriage was controversial at the time; his second wife was both twenty years his junior as well as white. His legacy lived on, and his speeches continued to have great effects even years later.


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Region Buildings Housing Units
New York City, NY 625 103,068
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Chicago, IL 51 14,683

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Rutherford Place - A former maternity hospital, Rutherford Place is now a condominium residence in Gramercy Park, and a classic example of the Beaux Arts architectural style.

Jade- With interior design by Jade Jagger, this building introduced Manhattan-ites to pod style living.


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