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Guide to the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories 2008.030

Brooklyn Historical Society
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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Brett Dion and Maria Santiago

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 22, 2017
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Glascoe, Benjamin, 2007 August 31

Biographical / Historical

Benjamin A. Glascoe (1937- ) was born at St. Mary's Hospital and was raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. He played collegiate baseball and football for Shaw University, where he graduated in 1961. Glascoe's professional career began with the New York City Social Services Division, where he served as a case worker. From there, he was hired by Restoration in 1968, just months after its founding; his first position was in community organizing. Glascoe quickly became a leader at Restoration; serving as director of community programs, manager of Restoration Plaza, and as assistant to Restoration president Franklin Thomas. In 1981, Glascoe joined the Consolidated Edison team, where he served as manager of public affairs and director of economic development. During his retirement, Glascoe remained active on the boards of Restoration, the East Harlem Council for Economic Improvement, and the Transfiguration Education Association.

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Benjamin A. Glascoe remembers the racially integrated Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn of his youth; and details his education. Glascoe provides his impressions of Bedford-Stuyvesant in the 1960s. He recalls his different roles at Restoration. As the director of community programs, Glascoe revamped a problematic public sanitation program, installed youth programming, and created a successful jobs training program called the Home Improvement Program. Glascoe recounts an era of financial difficulty for Restoration, when the organization was penalized and significantly de-funded by the federal government because they had invested federal monies with the plan to use the proceeds as their operating budget. At one moment, Glascoe becomes emotional when remembering his son, the firefighter Keith Glascoe, who perished in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. Finally, Glascoe shares his optimism for Restoration's future. Interview conducted by Brian Purnell.

Conditions Governing Access and Use

Access to the interview is available onsite at the Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online on the Oral History Portal. Use of the oral histories other than for private study, scholarship, or research requires permission from BHS by contacting

Subject Names

  • Glascoe, Benjamin
  • Grannum, Colvin W.
  • Thomas, Franklin A.

Subject Organizations

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant Development and Services Corporation
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
  • Central Brooklyn Coordinating Council (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)

Subject Topics

  • Community development corporations -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Cultural facilities -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Economic development -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Housing -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Merchants -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)