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Chelsea Stop on the Underground Railroad Becomes a Landmark

By DNAinfo Staff on January 16, 2012 12:13pm

By Paul Lomax

Special to DNAinfo

MANHATTAN — The subway isn't the only historic railroad that runs through Manhattan.

Advocates are celebrating the landmarking of a row of Chelsea houses that played a central role in the Underground Railroad that moved escaped slaves from the south to freedom.

The row of antebellum 19th century Greek revival houses form the Lamartine Place Historic District, stretching from 333 - 359 West 29th St., were given landmark status on Saturday.

Notable among them is the Hopper Gibbons House at No. 339, the only documented Manhattan stop of the underground 

"This is an important event today," Christopher Smith, of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, said Saturday.

"Dr. Martin Luther King was a drum major of peace and the people involved with this project are members of a greater cause just like Dr. King was. So that makes everyone here today drum makers of peace."

Even though it was attacked and even torched by Draft Riot mobs, forcing the Gibbons family to escape over the roof,  number 339 has remained in good condition.