- Stephen Tilly Architects
- A rendering of the Peekskill Art & Media Center, planned for 2021.
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“We know this is a long time coming,” Green told the council. “A quarter-century in the making. It feels right to do this now, to capitalize and expand on all the momentum that the community has contributed to over the past decades, and to deliver on the promise of Peekskill as a thriving artists’ enclave. Everyone working on our team believes it is a privilege to make this project happen. Vibrant cities have art centers. It is time for Peekskill to join those cities.”
The mixed-use blueprint developed by architects Ray Wobbe and Jonathan Walko of the Stephen Tilly architectural design firm includes a visual art center, two cinemas, classrooms, commercial office space, and a coffee roastery. The 4,000-square-foot visual art space will feature a showplace gallery with see-through walls, suitable for exhibitions and public or private business and social events. Classrooms adjacent to the gallery will serve a full range of instructional arts programs for children, adults, seniors, and the differently abled.
- Peekskill Arts Alliance boasts 100 members and has been organizing Open Studio Tours for 22 years.
On the second level, Green plans to offer a dozen commercial spaces for rent, two of them multimedia-ready and connected to the larger theater, converting it into a sound stage for the production of audio, video, and multimedia content.
Stephen Tilly Architects, Wobbe told the council, is up to the task, with a project portfolio that includes Film Forum in Greenwich Village, Dobbs Ferry Playhouse, Lyndhurst mansion in Tarrytown, and the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains. The plan will incorporate solar and other sustainable building tactics.
The idea is “a private/public ecosystem built from the ground up," says Greene. "A partnership for commercial and not-for-profit activity fortifies and expands each other’s potential and opportunity.”
Peekskill’s mayor, Andre Rainey, called the plan for the center “amazing” and predicted swift success. Councilwoman Patricia Riley, a retired teacher who focused her reelection campaign on keeping Peekskill “the envy of Westchester” while maintaining its inclusive and affordable spirit, was equally impressed. “As a lifelong resident of Peekskill,” says Riley, “this makes me really happy.”