The Real Deal New York

Legislator makes new pitch to preserve Jackie Robinson home

Lawmaker, Landmarks disagree on baseball pioneer's stay in Brooklyn house

April 15, 2014 09:48AM

From left: Jackie Robinson and 5224 Tilden Avenue

From left: Jackie Robinson and 5224 Tilden Avenue

After striking out in an attempt to secure landmark status for baseball great Jackie Robinson’s former home in East Flatbush last year, a Brooklyn legislator is giving the process a second run.

Robinson’s former digs at 5224 Tilden Avenue in East Flatbush was designated a national landmark in 1976, but City Council member Jumaane Williams is also pursuing city status because he says the classification would provide additional protection.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission, however, determined last year that the site wasn’t eligible for protection because the baseball legend only lived in the house for one year, from April 1948 to May 1949.

“It was determined that the building on Tilden Avenue where he and his family rented an apartment for a period of just over one year does not commemorate his life and work as well as his home in Addisleigh Park, where he resided during major milestones of his career,” the commission said at the time. Robinson lived in Queens’ Addisleigh Park from June 1949 through 1956, the commission told the New York Post.

Williams, however, says his and the National Historic Landmarks Program records show Robinson moved to the Tilden Avenue house in 1947. He launched a national petition that has secured over 8,500 signatures in a few months. [NYP]Julie Strickland

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