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Guide to the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation publication and photograph collection ARC.124

Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Matthew Gorham

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 16, 2022
eng using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Collection was reprocessed and finding aid updated by Diana Bowers-Smith 2022

Historical note

The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (known commonly as Restoration), located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, had its origins in the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, in collaboration with Senator Jacob K. Javits and Mayor John W. Lindsay, created the Special Impact Program as an amendment to the act, which mandated the formation of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Renewal and Rehabilitation Corporation and the Development Services Corporation to address the causes and consequences of poverty and urban blight in the neighborhood, in addition to serving as a national model for community development.

In 1967, the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation was formally incorporated under the leadership of its first chairman, Judge Thomas R. Jones, as the first community development corporation (CDC) in the United States. The following year, Restoration purchased a shuttered milk bottling plant on Fulton Street to serve as its corporate headquarters. Renovations to the site resulted in the construction of Restoration Plaza in 1972. In addition to serving as the Corporation's headquarters, Restoration Plaza is also home to several cultural organizations, locally-owned businesses, non-profit organizations, and government offices.

Since its founding, the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation has provided services to the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in four major areas: affordable housing; employment; business and economic development; and arts & culture. As of 2010, Restoration has constructed or rehabilitated 2200 housing units in the neighborhood; provided mortgage financing to nearly 1500 homeowners; attracted $375 million in investments to the neighborhood and created over 20,000 jobs; and established the Billie Holiday Theatre, the Skylight Gallery, and the Youth Arts Academy.