New museum captures history of Southside Williamsburg
by Kathleen Lees
Jul 31, 2012 | 8579 views | 0 0 comments | 178 178 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A neighborhood is defined by its residents.

That is the message behind the new Los Sures Museum located on South 1st Street between Bedford and Berry avenues in Southside Williamsburg. On Friday, July 27, local representatives and community members gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the museum.

"We're going to put a final stamp in the history of Williamsburg," said Los Sures Executive Director Ramon Peguero. "This museum is here to show that no one ever forgets those that came, that fought, that cried and that put everything into ensuring that this community became the community that everybody is looking to live in."

Peguero said Los Sures, in conjunction with Cornell University and Churches United for Fair Housing, has been working on the museum for the past eight months. Admission is free.

"It's really great to see it all come together," Peguero said.

Exhibits in the museum include photos of marches and events chronicling the history of past community members, who have increasingly been forced to leave the neighborhood as its popularity has led to increased rents.

"Every working-family has a right to have a roof over their head," said Councilwoman Diana Reyna. "We define who we are, not the real estate industry."

Williamsburg resident Maria Bautista said she was excited about the opening of the museum.

"You're talking about mass displacements of Latino residents," she said. "This museum is going to capture the story of the Latinos in this neighborhood, and they're going to be telling the story to their kids and the next generation of the struggles and what they fought for."

Los Sures is an organization that advocates for tenants’ rights in the neighborhood. More specifically, the organization deals with rent control and rent stabilization, lease renewal in rent-stabilized apartments, security deposits, heat and hot water, and other issues.

Los Sures organizer Barbara Schliff explained the impact the museum will have in the community.

"People were being thrown out of their apartments," she said. "This commemorates that."
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