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Downtown Committee honors Doucette, Curry for Armory Square vision

downtown committee of syracuseSYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc. honored Robert Doucette and George Curry with its Urban Innovation Award for their development work in the Armory Square area of downtown Syracuse.

The recognition is among the organization’s Downtown Awards of Excellence, which it presented during its annual meeting last Thursday at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, the former Hotel Syracuse.

Doucette is a partner in Paramount Realty Group, LLC at 108 West Jefferson St. in Syracuse. Curry is a professor emeritus of landscape architecture at the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry in Syracuse.

Curry was unable to attend the event, according to Jim Breuer, chairman of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, who emceed the annual meeting.

Doucette and Curry “had a vision” for Armory Square when it was known as a warehouse district, the Downtown Committee said. The organization described Doucette and Curry as “urban pioneers.” The duo restored the Labor Temple Building at 309 S. Franklin St. in 1984.

With eight new residential apartments, the property became the first residential space in Armory Square, “setting the foundation for the successful Armory Square we know today,” the Downtown Committee noted.

Additional awards

The organization also honored Dennis Connors, historian at the Onondaga Historical Association, with its Heart of Downtown Award.

Connors “was at the forefront of the effort to save” Hanover Square from bulldozers in the 1960s. He “recognized the importance” of historic preservation from an economic and cultural standpoint.

The Downtown Committee staff sees Connors, who plans to retire at the end of this year, as “the keeper of our community’s stories.”

In addition, the Downtown Committee also recognized owner Randy Sabourin and the staff at Metro Fitness with the Perfect Partner Award for their “creative programming” focused on healthy habits and wellness initiatives throughout the downtown area.

The Downtown Committee credits Sabourin with starting the conversation that brought outdoor fitness equipment to the Creekwalk earlier this year and jumpstarted the Wellness Wednesdays that the Downtown community looks forward to throughout the summer season in Clinton Square.

The organization also recognized a group of women entrepreneurs along Warren Street for their retail shops, boutiques, and eateries with what it called the Newsmaker Award.

The group included Kathie Morris of The Changing Room at 425 S. Warren St.; Shauna Diliberto and Susan Hodell of Vintage Love at 201 E. Jefferson St.; Natalie Evans and Jen Walls of The Sweet Praxis at 203 E. Water St.; Johanna Yorke of Otro Cinco at 206 S. Warren St.; Cheryl Hassett of Soup R Salads at 308 S. Warren St.; and Gini Cerio of Markowitz Florist at 210 S. Warren St.


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