Reimagining a Historic House: A Community Conversation
October 12, 2021
Prospect Park Alliance hosted a Community Conversation with Meredith Sorin-Horsford, Director of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, as part of its Re-Imagine Lefferts Historic House initiative to re-envision the mission and programming of this historic house museum while it undergoes restoration, recognize the role the house played as a site of slavery, and tell the stories of enslaved Africans and Native Americans who lived and worked the land.
In the lead up to the event, we asked Meredith a few questions about Dyckman DISCOVERED and her team's approach to sensitive historical research.
Can you tell us a bit about your Dyckman DISCOVERED Initiative?
Where did you find information about the enslaved Africans and others who lived and worked the land apart from the Dyckman family?
If you don't have a lot of information about an enslaved person who lived in the house, how do you give visitors a sense of their lives?
How did you engage your community in your project?
Why is it important to preserve authentic and meaningful documents, artifacts, images, stories and places?
What kinds of programs help participants to see how their experiences in life are related to the interpretation of slavery?
For those who couldn’t make it to the community conversation, the Alliance created a form where you can respond to the questions that were raised to our audience, and we encourage you to share your feedback. We do plan future community conversations in the coming months, and hope that you can join this continued dialogue.
The restoration of Lefferts Historic House is made possible through $2.5 million in funding from the Brooklyn Delegation of the New York City Council, and includes replacing the roof, restoring the exterior of the building, and repairing paths and drainage surrounding the house. The restoration is currently underway, and slated to be completed in 2022.
c. Elizabeth Keegin Colley