11. Shirley Chisholm Campaign Office (1906)

Shirley Chisholm campaign office

Behind the unassuming exterior of 1467 Bedford Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn is a flourishing event space with myriad historical connections to New York City’s political scene. The former campaign headquarters of Congresswoman and Brooklyn icon Shirley Chisholm, and later the community venue Alpha Space, the building that was built in 1906 has become the new home of Unbossed Media LLC, an initiative working to provide the resources for local artists who haven’t yet had them to get their projects off the ground. Chisholm was the first African American woman to serve in Congress, both the first woman and African American to run for the Oval Office, and the second woman and first African American woman to serve on the House Rules Committee. Chisholm was elected to Congress in 1968 and ran for the presidency four years after. A plaque for Chisholm, created by Alpha Space, was once hanging on the side of the building, but had fallen off due to the wind.

Nearby, the Shirley Chisholm Circle in Brooklyn’s Brower Park is a circular terrace named for her. Chisholm was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, often teaching her classes outside in Brower Park. As a champion of equal rights, Chisholm would introduce Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK), a program designed to help disadvantaged students enter college. For her work in Congress, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.

Today, a plaque in Brower Park includes her quote “When I die, I want to be remembered as a woman who lived in the 20th century and who dared to be a catalyst of change.” Chisholm is also honored by the newly-created Shirley Chisholm State Park in Spring Creek, Brooklyn, the largest state park in New York City.