2. African Free School No. 2 — 135-137 Mulberry Street

The African Free School system was founded in 1785 as a segment of the New York Manumission Society, an organization that supported the abolition of slavery in the United States. It was eventually taken over by African Americans, and by 1834, the schools were absorbed into the New York public school system. Around 1,400 students were enrolled in seven different school buildings (slavery was abolished in New York in 1827). Many prominent members of the African-American community went to the school, including James McCune Smith, the first licenced African-American doctor and active abolitionist; Patrick Reason, a famous engraver; and Henry Highland Garnet, an abolitionist, orator and distinguished Presbyterian minister.

Today, 135-137 Mulberry Street no longer exist as they’ve been incorporated into 133. On the first foor is the Italian restaurant S.P.Q.R. According to the New York City Department of Buildings, 133 Mulberry was used for light manufacturing and office space as late as 1973. But by 1980 or 1981, when the buildings were merged, the first floor became a restaurant and the upper floors apartments.

View all on one page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *