History & Culture
In 1991, construction began on a 34-story federal office tower, overseen by the General Services Administration (GSA). As mandated by section 106 in the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 an archeological survey took place. During survey work, the largest and most important archeological discovery was made: Unearthing the "Negroes Buriel Ground"- a 6-acre burial ground believed to contain upwards of 15,000 skeletal remains. This discovery would alter the understanding and scholarship surrounding enslavement and its contribution to constructing New York City. The treatment and fate of these remains were highly contested between the General Services Administration and the African American descendant community. Due to civic engagement, the ancestral remains were reinterred on site with a memorial constructed to commemorate their contributions and honor their memory. Click below to learn more about the continuing story of the African Burial Ground, or click the link for a brief history (PDF 1.15MB) of our site written by author and historian Christopher Moore, a descendant of Groot Manuel--one of the first 11 enslaved Africans in New York City.
Last updated: March 20, 2018