Be a Part of History in the Making The T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center will open in the Spring of 2018. This cultural center, once known as “Maple Hall”, will commemorate the life of T. Thomas Fortune, who acquired the residence in 1901. Born into slavery in 1856, Fortune went on to become one of the most influential American journalists and newspaper publishers of the 19th and 20th centuries, making significant contributions to the advancement of civil rights and justice. This building will preserve his legacy for generations. TheT. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center building is a National Historic Landmark. It is one of only two National Historic Landmarks in New Jersey that is significant because of its role in African American history.