The State Office Building at 55 Hanson Place in Fort Greene has been renamed the Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building in honor of the late Congresswoman.
“Shirley Chisholm was a lifelong leader who worked tirelessly to better the lives of those in her community and across this country,” stated Governor Patterson at the commemoration.
Shirley Chisholm was the first African-American elected to Congress. She served as a U.S. Representative for New York’s 12th District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1972, she became the first woman to run for the Democratic Presidential nomination and the first major-party African-American candidate to run for U.S. President.
“Shirley Chisholm blazed a trail from the streets of Brooklyn in 1972 to the White House in 2008 with the election of Barack Obama,” stated Hakeem Jeffries, Assemblyman for Fort Greene.
“She demonstrated how politics can be a life of service and accomplishment for real issues: equality, education, children’s services, women’s rights, and the fight against poverty,” stated Senator Velmanette Montgomery of Bedford-Stuyvesant.
The 13-story building at 55 Hanson Place was originally designed as a flagship YMCA building. Throughout its history it has been used to service the community, serving as a homeless shelter, a substance abuse center, State human services offices, and as a child development center. The building is currently occupied by 18 NY State agencies and offices advocating for the people from the Department of Education to the Department of Labor.
New York State Office of the Governor