The opening of 211 Ainslie Street seems like yesterday to some, but it happened 48 years ago. This address originated as the home to Swinging Sixties Older Adult Center and Small World Early Childhood Center; it remains so while it has also welcomed the broader community for other purposes. The aforementioned “some” are now members of Swinging Sixties, or parents who bring or have brought their children to Small World, or they have participated at Brooklyn Community Board 1 meetings or other community meetings and events this North Brooklyn town hall has hosted. Some have memories of doing all these things.
Many neighbors also hold memories of when they united to save this center. This was in order to prevent the owner at that time from tearing down the building and turning it into condos. They chanted, “Community Not Condo’s!” in the streets of Williamsburg and on the steps of City Hall. Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso helped save 211 Ainslie Street when he was a NYC council member, as did Mayor Eric Adams when he was Brooklyn borough president.
Age brings wonderful memories and many of these memories were shared at the 48th anniversary celebration. Age has also brought the wisdom to look to the building’s future. Repairs and renovation will be needed so this neighborhood jewel can continue to provide services for all ages in our area. Funding sources secured in Fiscal year 2023 for this include: NYS Assembly Member Maritza Davila $750K, NYS Assembly Member Emily Gallagher $500K, NYS Senator Kavanagh $500K, NYS Senator Julia Salazar $400K. NYC Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez has committed additional support for fiscal year 2024