KINGSTON – The Kingston Land Trust has purchased 157 Pine Street in Uptown Kingston, site of the historic African Burial Ground ensuring it is forever protected.
Last November, the land trust petitioned the bank that owned the property to halt a foreclosure process and pull the property from auction so the agency and its community partners could raise the funds to purchase the historically significant site.
Now the land trust will work with partner organization Harambee and the community to restore the grounds and convert a building on the property into an interpretive centre for education and reflection.
“We are immensely relieved that the African Burial Ground is finally in the hands of the community so that it can receive due recognition,” said Julia Farr, executive director of the Kingston Land Trust. “We are humbled by the outpouring of support for this initiative, and grateful to our partner Harambee, whose commitment, wisdom and collaborative spirit helped us inspire a region to join together to bring this piece of history to light.”
“The enslaved African Americans who played a vital role in the settlement of Kingston have been silenced for too long,” said Steven Rosenberg, Scenic Hudson vice president and executive director of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust. “By protecting the Pine Street Burial Ground, the Kingston Land Trust and Harambee not only have assured the preservation of a powerful memorial to these oppressed people, but they have provided an important place for future generations to hear their stories. Scenic Hudson is honored to have supported this important initiative.”
In addition to Kingston Land Trust’s original commitment of $0,000, another $100,000 was raised for the purchase, including a $40,000 match from Scenic Hudson, over 250 individual donations, and sponsorships from several area organizations and businesses.
The land trust and Harambee plan to raise the remaining $60,000 of their $200,000 goal in donations and in-kind construction services and materials to restore the building on site in preparation for its eventual opening as a cultural and research center.