Dec. 11, 2019 By Kristen Torres
A women’s rights group opened its new headquarters in Bayside’s Fort Totten Park Sunday.
The Center for the Women of New York (CWNY) celebrated the opening of its new location, at 207 Totten Ave., in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 8.
“The new building will allow the Center to expand its function with corresponding opportunities to reach many more women,” said CWNY founder Ann Juliano Jawin in a statement.
The newly renovated hub will provide a space for the non-profit to provide women with career training services, free legal clinic and referral services, financial clinic and support groups for victims of domestic violence.
The CWNY was evicted by the city from its previous location at 401 Weaver St. After a lengthy legal battle, the group reached a compromise with the city and was given an opportunity to restore a historic landmark building at its new address, according to the CWNY.
The new building had not been used or maintained for 35 years, the group said. The cost of the restoration reached nearly $3 million.
Borough President Melinda Katz, Assembly Members Edward Braunstein and David Weprin, former Assembly Member Ann-Margaret Carrozza and Council Member Paul Vallone provided funding for the project, alongside private donors.
Founded in 1987 by Ann Juliano Jarwin, CWNY works to achieve equality for women and provides services such as a free legal clinic and referral service, a financial clinic and support groups for victims of domestic violence.
“The renovation of this beautiful historic building will allow not only a ‘home’ for the Center but also permit space for a wider variety of programs,” Jarwin said.
The group plans to use one-third of the building for a women’s history and culture museum, another third for career exploration and training, and the third as a conference center, where other like-minded groups can gather to work on long-standing issues.
“We believe that this historic landmark site will be the only building completely dedicated to full equality for women between the New York metropolitan area and Seneca Falls in upper New York State,” Jarwin said.
At present CWNY will be operating on only the first floor while funds are raised for the rest of the floors and an elevator.