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Brooklyn Coffee & Tea House, Neighborhood Revitalization Award, 207 Douglas Avenue

The restoration of the Hennessey-McHale Block at 207 Douglas Avenue demonstrates how the preservation of a prominent local landmark can help to revitalize a neighborhood. The building was constructed ca. 1873, originally housed a grocery store and was later home to the Armenian American Civic Club. Condemned by the City and slated for demolition, the building was purchased by owner Anthony Demings in 1999. Demings stabilized the three-story brick structure and rehabilitated it for use as a coffee house and local meeting space on the first floor while retaining the residential space on the upper stories. The project has had a positive impact on the neighborhood, bringing renewed life to the street and serving as a local gathering space. Additionally, the building helps to save an important piece of the ethnic history of the Smith Hill neighborhood.