Allies of Freedmen's Town - Saving 1609 Saulnier
Freedmen’s Town is a historically Black community settled by formerly enslaved people after the Juneteenth announcement of Emancipation in 1865. Despite its cultural and architectural significance, it has faced ongoing disintegration of its historic character and assets.
The Houston Freedmen's Town Conservancy (HFTC) is raising money to pay for the purchase and historic restoration of 1609 Saulnier. In December 2022, HFTC saved the original contributing structure from demolition by acquiring it via borrowed funds and is now seeking donations to pay back the borrowed money and help fund the home’s renovation. Freedmen’s Town is an important cultural touchstone in both African American and Texas history. 1609 Saulnier is listed in the inventory of the United States Department of Interior - National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places in the Freedmen’s Town Historic District.
Freedmen's Town originally contained over 530 historic structures within the 40-block area. Now there are less than 50 contributing structures standing. Our collective history is erased with each demolition, so we need your help to preserve the legacy of this historic building, ensure it is preserved by the City of Houston in perpetuity, and prevent the gradual destruction of Houston’s Freedmen’s Town Historic District.
After the restoration of 1609 Saulnier is complete, the property will be donated to Houston Community Land Trust (HCLT) so that an individual who is eligible for affordable housing is able to purchase the home through one of HCLT’s programs.
We are seeking $100,000 in funding by April 1. For additional information contact Fundraising Coordinator Bill Baldwin or Executive Director of Freedmen’s Town Conservancy Zion Escobar.
About The Houston Freedmen’s Town Conservancy: The Houston Freedmen’s Town Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which protects and preserves Freedmen’s Town for the benefit of future generations. The Conservancy supports community engagement, re-education, and heritage tourism, and is the conservator of Freedmen’s Town as the City of Houston’s first Heritage District. For more information: instagram.com/houstonfreedmenstown.
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