Conservancy’s Work With Erasmus Hall Academy Building Featured In Wall Street Journal

August 22, 2012

The vacant, landmark Erasmus Academy Building in Flatbush will soon be restored to become the headquarters for the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI). The Conservancy’s efforts to save and restore this important 1787 Federal style structure helped make this new use possible.

CACCI announced its new home at an August 22 celebration at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall attended by the Conservancy. In a wonderful “only in New York twist,” Alexander Hamilton—who came to New York from the Caribbean—was one of the Academy’s founders. It was the first secondary school in the State.

The Conservancy had long championed restoration and reuse of the Academy Building and worked to raise awareness its plight with the Erasmus Hall High School Alumni Association. Two years ago, we donated and raised money for a conditions survey, after securing permission from the City Department of Education. The report, by the firm of Cutsogeorge Tooman & Allen Architects, showed that more than $2 million was needed to restore the exterior alone.

The Conservancy then met with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz seeking his assistance. He brought together CACCI, City and State officials, the Alumni Association and the Conservancy to see if CACCI and the Academy Building were a match. CACCI enthusiastically embraced the prospect of locating its headquarters there. The City approved the use. And City and State funding of approximately $8 million is now available for the complete restoration of the building.

CACCI is a statewide membership organization providing business assistance and promoting trade missions to Caribbean nations. Planning for the project is now underway.

To read the full story and view the photo slideshow click here.

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