‘A cornerstone of this community’: Protesters march against removal of Harriet Tubman House

BOSTON (WHDH) - Protestors rallied for change in Boston’s South End Wednesday. Their mission was to save a house named for abolitionist Harriet Tubman from being turned into condominiums.

Since the 1970s, the Harriet Tubman House has been designated as a community center but that recently changed to make way for 66 luxury condos.

A hundred marchers took their message to the front door of the house located at the intersection of Columbus and Massachusetts avenues.

“We are coming out to say no to the destruction of vital social services and community access,” one speaker said.

In December, the Boston Planning and Development Agency gave the green light for the transformation.

“The only words I can think of is, ‘abomination,” Protester Pat Oliver said. Oliver worked at the Tubman house for 42 years.

The community center, which is owned by United South End Settlements, has provided job training, youth services and even hosted political debates.

“It is a cornerstone of this community,” Oliver said. “It has served many many people, many many generations have gone to the Harriet Tubman house.”

United South End Settlements said it simply cannot afford the building any longer and hopes to move to another location.

Those gathered on the sidewalk Wednesday said the BPDA wrongly lifted a restriction that prohibits the land to be used for anything other than a community center.

They have filed a lawsuit in a last-ditch effort to save the Tubman house.

“We are asking the city of Boston to honor the agreement,” one speaker said.

The city said they are reviewing that lawsuit.

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