Governor Cuomo Announces Groundbreaking for $242 Million National Urban League Headquarters in Harlem

March 17, 2021

New Headquarters Brings Organization Back to its Founding Neighborhood

Urban League Empowerment Center Project Includes New York's First Museum Dedicated to Civil Rights, Plus Below-Market Office Space for Community Groups and Civic Organizations

Site will include 170 Affordable Housing Units to Be Constructed with Support from New York State Homes and Community Renewal 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the groundbreaking for the National Urban League's new headquarters in Harlem, where the organization was first established over a century ago. The Urban League Empowerment Center, on 125th Street between Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard and Lenox Avenue, will also include the Urban Civil Rights Museum Experience and the National Urban League Institute for Race, Equity and Justice, plus affordable housing, office space and retail space. 

"For more than a century, the National Urban League has been vital in supporting the advancement of Black Americans and other historically underrepresented groups in New York State and across America, and has been particularly critical in helping get shots in arms as the state expands its vaccination effort," Governor Cuomo said. "This project exemplifies the League's mission that began more than a century ago in the same Harlem neighborhood, offering community support and education through affordable housing, lower-cost office space, and the state's first museum dedicated to civil rights history. As the challenges and struggles surrounding the fight for equal rights continue to today, this new headquarters is even more vital and I'm very proud that it's being built in New York."

National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said, "New York City is where we were born, and I am proud that New York City is where we will stay. I am even more excited about the neighborhood economic development our new home represents. With affordable office space for non-profit organizations like One Hundred Black Men of New York, the United Negro College Fund New York, and the Harlem-based Jazzmobile, the Empowerment Center will be a hub and a catalyst for enterprise, creativity, activism and advocacy."

As part of the $242 million project, the National Urban League will build a nearly 42,000-square-foot national headquarters in the same neighborhood where it was founded by Ruth Standish Baldwin and Dr. George Edmund Haynes in 1910. The site will also house the 19,500-square-foot National Urban League Institute for Race, Equity and Justice conferencecenter, and the nearly 21,500-square-foot Urban Civil Rights Museum Experience-New York's first civil rights museum to share and illustrate the story of civil rights advocacy in the north. 

Read the full press release here.