Prior to 1940, 2116 Edmondson Avenue was occupied as the Bridge 5c. & 10c. Store owned by Benjamin Hankoff. The property and stock were auctioned off in April 1940 and the store reopened as a grocery in the early 1940s. In the late 1940s, pool tables were offered for sale from the building.
The building then was used as the ECO (Edmondson Community Organization) building for a range of community meetings and programs.
Edmondson Community Organization established – 1992
Neighborhood residents led an effort in the early 1990s to establish the Edmondson Community Organization. In June 1995, the U.S. Marshall’s office and the U.S. Attorney for Maryland confiscated the Underground nightclub located at 2114 Edmondson Avenue and turned it over to the Edmondson Community Organization in an effort to push back against drug traffic in the area. The community organization took over the building under the leadership of president Charlotte M. Perry but limited funding made it difficult for the organization to expand its services to the community. In February 1996, the Afro American quoted long-time area resident John Walters, remarking:
“You can drive up and down the street and see kids standing out there waving cars down to sell their drugs. It is just not the same place it used to be. I guess it would be worse if that nightclub was still open but I don’t see a whole lot of difference.”
The ECO Building continues to host meetings for Midtown Edmondson residents and other community organizations. In the past few years, neighborhood residents met at the ECO building between November 2006 and early January 2007 to form the West Baltimore Coalition and advocate for the development of the West Baltimore MARC Station Area. The coalition led to the organization of the West Baltimore MARC Transit-Oriented Development Transportation, Inc. (WBMTTI) that operated a farmer’s market in the area for several years.