The 176-year-old, three-level structure was built by William Nelson- Peekskill lawyer, Congressman and friend to Abraham Lincoln. Its first use was as a grocery store in 1838. The Peekskill telegraph office was then located here in the 1860s. A small stage, built on the 3rd floor in 1870, was identified as the “Dramatic Hall.” The street level retail store, known as Durrin Brothers, provided hardware supplies starting around 1880. This business became Kurzhals Brothers Hardware in 1920. Later on, the Capital Glass Company operated here in the 1970s and 80s.
This emblematic building had been abandoned for about 20 years and fallen into disrepair until 2012, when Mr. Gabriel Arango, who already owned several buildings in downtown Peekskill, purchased the 15,200-square-foot building with a unique vision for Peekskill Central Market, including completely renovating an 1870-era theater on the third floor that can seat almost 100 people.
“It’s unique. I saw the potential to convert it into an attraction for the community. I want to make a contribution to the progress of the city. The main attraction is the location,” explained Arango, a Colombian-born businessman, resident of White Plains and proprietor of EZ Housing. “Many people tried to buy this place before, but they failed to fulfill the dream. I’m different. The difference is the uniqueness. Success comes with passion and determination. We take pride in what we do. It’s a labor of love. Peekskill is coming up. It’s a trendy place. It will encourage anyone to move up here.”
[http://www.theexaminernews.com, 09/22/15 ; ]