About Us

Private First Class Dorrance Brooks - World War I Hero & Beloved Son of Harlem


Dorrance Brooks (d. 1918), is an African American soldier who died in France shortly before the end of World War I. A native of Harlem and the son of a Civil War veteran, Brooks was a Private First Class in the 15th Infantry/369th Infantry Regiment. 

In World War I, African American soldiers served in segregated regiments and were not eligible for aid from the Army Nurse Corps or the American Red Cross. In spite of these discouragements, Brooks distinguished himself as a faithful and patriotic soldier. Brooks was praised for his “signal bravery” in leading the remnants of his company after his superior officers were killed.

When this square was dedicated on June 14, 1925, more than 10,000 people were said to have attended the ceremony...

What We Do


Dorrance Brooks Square is one of the 2019 Six Historic Districts to Celebrate! www.6tocelebrate.org 


Harlem has experienced a rapid escalation in the demolition of historic sites in recent years to create space for new high-rise residential towers and upmarket commercial space. In response, DBPORA has intensified its neighborhood preservation activities. Due to the successful efforts of the West Harlem Community Preservation Organization, with support from the neighborhood advocacy organizations Save Harlem Now! and the Historic Districts Council, the Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District received a positive determination of by the New York State Historic Preservation Office for acceptance to both the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places. To continue our historic preservation efforts, DBPORA relies on donations from the public to preserve the neighborhood’s rich cultural history and its unique architectural structures.  To donate please scroll to the bottom of this page.







Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 at 

St. Marks Church in the Bowery, 

131 East 10th Street, Manhattan 

DBPORA Receives HDC's Grassroots Preservation Award

DBPORA is being honored by the Historic Districts Council with a Grassroots Preservation Award for its work on historic neighborhood preservation. The Grassroots Preservation Awards and Preservation Party  will be held on Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 at the St. Marks Church in the Bowery, 131 East 10th Street, Manhattan. For more information, go to www.hdc.org  

Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 7 pm

St. Marks / Mt. Calvary United Methodist Church

49-55 Edgecombe Avenue 

Please attend the  

Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District 

“Historic Tax Credit 101” Informational Meeting

 to learn about the numerous state and federal historic grant and tax credit programs to benefit homeowners and businesses within the Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District!

Who Will Be There

Mr. Daniel McEneny, Coordinator, Community Engagement and Homeowner Tax Credit Program, NYS Historic Preservation Office

Ms. Kelly Carroll, Director of Advocacy and Community Outreach, Historic Districts Council

A 45 minute Facebook Live video link of the event follows: 



Sunday, August 18, 2019 at 10:30 am

Dorrance Brooks Square

West 136th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue 

 A Walking Tour was given by a historic preservationist to show the new historic district's architectural and cultural legacies.  

A 90 minute Facebook Live video link of the event follows: 

https://www.facebook.com/ keith.taylor.773124/videos/ 10218305970094331/


Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 7 pm

St. Marks / Mt. Calvary United Methodist Church

49-55 Edgecombe Avenue 

A  Community Meeting was  held  on the proposal to establish the Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District and acquire  mNew York State and National Historic Register status. Representative from the NY State Division of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation were available to answer questions. 

A link to the videos of the event follows:


 For additional information about the benefits of owning a property in a National Register Historic District, visit: 



Dorrance Brooks Property Owners & Residents Association

invites you to participate in our event commemorating the 100th year anniversary of Armistice Day, and the  ending World War I at:


Saturday, November 10, 2018, 11:00 am

(Edgecombe & St. Nicholas Avenues - 136th & 137th Streets)

A link to the videos of the event follows: 


The Armistice of 11 November 1918 ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War I between the Allies and their opponent, Germany. The segregated 369th United States Infantry, also known as the “Harlem Hellfighters,” assigned to fight in the French Army’s 161st Division, served 191 days in front line trenches in France, more than any other American unit, and also suffered the most losses...



on the status of the  Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District applications for State Historic District, National Register of Historic Places and New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission status.

MARCH 9, 2018 @ 10AM

St. Marks/Mt. Calvary Church

490-55 Edgecombe Avenue

(137th & 138th Streets) 

Representatives from the Historic District Council (www.hdc.org) and other historic preservation organizations will be present to answer questions about the upcoming application process and the impact that the historic designations will have on our community.


Please help us continue our historic preservation efforts

Your contribution will help our community to preserve its   rich cultural history and its unique architectural structures, especially those that are currently at risk of demolition. 

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card