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Help us Save the T. Thomas Fortune House National Historic Landmark
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com -
Contributed By: Thomas Fortune Project
Email The Author: thomasfortunehouse@gmail.com

Help us Save the T. Thomas Fortune House National Historic Landmark 
Thomas Fortune Project
c/o Red Bank Men's Club Foundation
PO Box 2235, Westside Station, Red Bank, NJ 07701 

Dear Potential Fortune Patron: 
We are a group of educators, architects, writers, attorneys, performance artists, and more who have come together to share the legacy of an outstanding figure in American history, for the benefit of all. We are working to save the T. Thomas Fortune House, a National Historic Landmark in Red Bank, New Jersey.    

The Thomas Fortune House is one of the most historically significant properties inthe United States. It is located at 94 Drs. James Parker Blvd., on the west side of Red Bank, NJ. There are 57 National Historic Landmarks (NHL) in New Jersey, and only 2,500 in the entire USA. The second empire style building is one of only two National Historic Landmarks in thestate related to African American history.  After Fortune's time, it came into the hands ofthe Vaccarelli brothers who opened a bakery on the premises and raised families there. Timothy Thomas Fortune was a nationally known critic of the rise of Jim Crow and the failure of reconstruction in the wake of the Civil War.  

Fortune edited and published three Afro American (a term he popularized) newspapers with a national circulation during his career. Fortune was virtually unparalleled in his time for his agitation,  education, and organization over a span of roughly 50 years (1880-1928). Fortune organized the first convention of the Afro-American League, considered to be aprecursor to the NAACP. At his passing, he was eulogized as the Dean of Black Journalism.His work remains relevant today: 

The T. Thomas Fortune House Preservation Project, with the sponsorship of the Red Bank Men's Club Foundation and the leadership of the National Landmarks Alliance and Garden State Legacy, wishes to acquire the property, then stabilize and secure the house so that it can be restored and developed into a cultural center.   Programming at the center is being planned with an eye to the needs of, and with  significant input from, surrounding communities. Along with educational programming, including on other Red Bank luminaries such as Count Basie and the Drs. James Parker, potential elements include music, arts and personal financial management classes, etc.

Our goal is to establish a highly interactive embodiment of Fortune's legacy, which engages local schools as well as the community in appreciating his life's work and inspires all people in the spirit of his dedication to progress. Please e-mail us at thomasfortunehouse@gmail.com for more information. 

We sincerely thank you for your support, 

Peter Primavera, Project Coordinator
Gilda Rogers & Lorraine Stone Co-chairs, Programming Committee                                  
Sarah Klepner & Mark Fitzsimmons Co-chairs, Fundraising Committee
T. Thomas Fortune House Preservation Project
Email: thomasfortunehouse@gmail.com


Posted: November 30, 2013
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