Of all the wonderful and diverse communities we have among us in the Hudson Valley, one of the most intriguing for both its promise of the future and grittiness of the past is Peekskill in the northwestern corner of Westchester. Historically, Peekskill is known as an American industrial center for its iron plow and stove products and for Binney & Smith Company, now makers of Crayola crayons, as well as Fleischmann’s Yeast, not to mention the notorious Peekskill Riots of 1949.
Today, Peekskill is poised for a long awaited re-gentrification, promise after promise that it would come, with a spate of artists’ lofts and galleries, a colony of musicians, some really good restaurants, a beautiful park by the Hudson River and a number of housing opportunities that are moderately priced, including modest single family homes, but some that are surprisingly upscale, several condo developments, co-ops and rental complexes.
And there are some grand secrets tucked in among commercial and multi-use buildings along its byways and alleys, the provenance of one which is occasionally debated with my friend County Legislator John Testa: the “Yellow Brick Road,” just over the railroad tracks near the river, behind the historic Standard House that now houses Dylan’s Wine Shop. Is this the yellow brick road that inspired L. Frank Baum’s famous road in “The Wizard of Oz?” John says, doubtful. I say, let us have our fun with it. In our last debate, I think John won.
Peekskill claims its oldest business as Dain’s Lumber, founded in 1848 on the waterfront and today run by Jeff Dain, great, great grandson of founder Nathaniel. And, a fascinating building directly across from City Hall on Main Street, now being magnificently restored, housed a theatre in the 19th century where both great American actors Edwin and John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, performed.
But an interesting secret that I never knew was revealed to me just recently when I listed a mixed use building at 650 Central Avenue owned by Bob Frissora where he and his son Steven run Arcanna Marketing Group, famous for the development of the NASCAR logo and several prominent PepsiCo brands.
To read the read of this column, click here. Bill Primavera is a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate and Founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc., the longest running public relations agency in Westchester (www.PrimaveraPR.com), specializing in lifestyles, real estate and development. His real estate site is: www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com and his blog is: www.TheHomeGuru.com. To engage the services of The Home Guru and his team to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.