A church, a Y, an architect, and two spirited Brooklyn Heights businessmen received special recognition by the Brooklyn Heights Association, a testament to their contributions to the neighborhood. At the BHAs annual meeting, Community Service Award recipients this year included Dodge YMCA for its community outreach; Richard Carlson, an architect, for his renovation of 28 Middagh Street; St. Charles Borromeo Church for the handicap access ramp; and Heights Chateau and Michael-Towne Liquors for showcasing local artists in their shop windows. Tom Stewart, a BHA member and well known public television personality, presented the awards. The ramp at the church, Stewart said, has the virtue of being nearly invisible, a prized trait in a community that takes historic preservation very seriously. When Father Charles Kraus noticed a parishioner being carried up the churchs entrance stairs, he was compelled to act. The fact that the parishioner in the wheelchair was 104-years-old may have added some urgency to the issue, but the elderly and disabled wouldnt be the only beneficiaries, Stewart said. Stewart said visitors to the new YMCA, at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Court Street, will see young and old strengthening their minds, spirits and bodies. After school literacy programs and sport programs provide creative, social, academic and recreational activities in a caring environment, he said to Eileen OConnor, executive director of the YMCA. By displaying the works of local artists, Matthew LaSorsa, owner of Heights Chateau and Michael Correra, owner of Michael-Towne Wine and Spirits, demonstrate that this precious space can also be used to benefit the arts and the community, Stewart said. Carlsons courageous rehabilitation project, strongly demonstrates the power of the historic preservation movement and its continuing potential for maintaining the rare charm and historic character of our neighborhood, Stewart said.
©2006 Community News Group
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