By Kyle Odegard of the Democrat Herald –
Deborah Boulanger pulled a bookcase away from a wall to reveal a secret passage, and a staircase to the second floor of a downtown Albany building commonly known as the “Cheese Grater” thanks to its metal façade.
Legend has it, the upstairs of 415 First Ave. W. was a speakeasy nearly a century ago, in the days of Prohibition, hence the hidden stairway. “I was told that they used to hide people,” Boulanger said.
Today, the place is simply a mess, with debris and junk mixed in with a broken-down pinball machine and a cast iron stove, dirty dishes still inside.
But Boulanger, the founder of Mercy House International, a non-profit Christian ministry that helps battered women and their children, has big plans for the Cheese Grater. READ THE FULL ARTICLE.