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Collage Drawing by Leah Smith

Collage Drawing

Over 160 years ago, the Sara D. Roosevelt Park burial grounds closed, and it was believed that the bodies were sent to Cyprus Hill in Brooklyn. However, substantial evidence supports there still being forgotten freed slaves on the site, a site where the only reference to this history is in the name of a community garden, M’finda Kalunga. This design for a public library strives to literally unearth this history. While the first below-ground level houses typical library programming, the lowest point two floors below is designed to be an affective experience. At this level, visitors are face-to-face with earth that, in 1853, would have been street level. As they stand mere feet away from these forgotten slaves, visitors are meant to reflect on the contribution of immigrants (whether or not by choice) to the building United States.