Black stars' enclave gets landmark status

Feb. 2, 2011 at 6:38 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Tuesday named a Queens neighborhood -- which housed Jackie Robinson and James Brown -- a historic district.

Many other African-American personages, including boxer Joe Louis, Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella, and musicians Ella Fitzgerald, Milt Hinton, Count Basie and Lena Horne, called the upscale Addisleigh Park neighborhood home, the New York Daily News reported.

"Their contributions were so significant that we thought it was fitting to honor them with these votes at the start of Black History Month," preservation commission Chairman Robert Tierney said.

The preservation commission's designation protects 422 buildings in the Addisleigh Park neighborhood from being destroyed or changed, the Daily News reported.

"Even though they were extremely famous, they were decent, kind, human neighbors. We were used to them. They were just our neighbors," said Yvonne Jackson, who added she went to barbecues at Basie's house.

The city Tuesday also gave landmark status to a church and three 19th-century homes in Staten Island's Sandy Ground area, occasionally known as "Little Africa," the newspaper said.

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