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Richard Yeaple, left, and Michael McFarlin had to shore up the roof of Tina Pomerico’s dress shop on Main Street in Beacon before they could begin renovating the apartments on the second and third floors. - Photo by Curtis Schmidt
By Ray Fashona
Main Street in Beacon is being reborn one building at a time.
That’s how contractors Richard Yeaple and Michael McFarlin see it.
The pair, whose business is called M&R Carpentry, is currently refurbishing 274 Main St., home to Tina Pomarico’s Lady Gray Bridal Shop. They are transforming the second and third floors into apartments that reflect the building’s late 1800s history.
“We’re putting it back together the way it was,” Yeaple said. “Of course, with some modern improvements like new windows.”
Pomarico and her husband, Mike, wanted the building refurbished “in the character of what it was,” she said.
Pomarico is in the same building where her mother started the dress shop in 1967. She said she’s proud of that fact. “I’ve survived here through the bad times, when people wondered if it was safe to go to Beacon, and I’m here now to enjoy the good times. People will say, ‘Oh, wow, you’re in Beacon’ in a way that makes it sound so positive.”
Yeaple, a Beacon native, said he too has “seen a lot of changes” in the city over the past several years. Beacon has a new energy, he said, and yet strives to hold onto its past by maintaining the historic character or many of its buildings. Since 9/11, 2001, Beacon has become something of a bedroom community for those who wanted out of New York City.
The opening of Dia:Beacon, the internationally known modern art museum, was also a boon to the city, bringing Beacon into the arts spotlight.
“A lot of our clients are artists and transplants from New York,” McFarlin said.
Anyone who was familiar with Beacon 20 or 30 years ago can attest that the change in the city is obvious. Main Street, once an intimidating place, Yeaple said, now bustles with life and commerce.
M&R has been on the job since early June, Yeaple said, and likely won’t finish until the spring of next year.
Yeaple said the renovation began by basically gutting the second and third floors and shoring up the roof, which “was on the verge of collapse,” McFarlin said.
“We filled up 15 dumpsters,” he added.
Pomarico can’t say enough good things about her contractors who, she said, “have constantly collaborated” with her and her husband about ideas they had for the apartments.
For example, they decided to tear out the plasterboard and wood in some areas and leave the brick exposed. When they showed her how it would look, she loved it. Once the brick is cleaned and brushed, it will give the apartments the feel of a New York City loft.
And an antique fireplace in one of the apartments is going to be salvaged to further offer a sense of character.
Pomarico said she selected M&R through word-of-mouth praise for the duo’s work. “As soon as we met them, we had a feeling of confidence,” she said. “It was an instant feeling that they were the right fit.”
Pomarico said she and her husband, who own the building, felt it was time to renovate the apartments, which had not been inhabited for at least 35 years. Although she declined to discuss the cost of the project, she said, “It is a huge undertaking.”
The undertaking began right from the top. Yeaple and McFarlin had to shore up the roof by building beams.
Read the full story in this week’s print edition.
Jim Lovell of Cold Spring, who perished in the Dec. 1 train derailment in the Bronx, was described by those who knew him as a kind and gentle man.
By Goldee Greene and Ray Fashona
Jim Lovell, the audio technician killed in the
Dec. 1 Metro-North train crash, seemed to be loved by everyone who
“He was a gentle soul,” said Phil Ciganer, owner of the Towne Crier Café. The restaurant and music venue recently moved to Beacon after years in Pawling, and Ciganer said the Cold Spring resident frequented his club even when it was in the far reaches of eastern Dutchess County.
“He was a longtime customer and he loved music,” Ciganer said. “As a sound tech, he was always very complimentary of our production quality.”
Ciganer said Lovell, 58, was soft spoken and “one of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet.” He added: “I haven’t been able to clear my mind since I heard the news.”
Lovell, who was married to Philipstown Councilwoman Nancy Montgomery, was the father of four children – a daughter, Brooke, from his first marriage, and three sons with Montgomery: Finn, Jack and Hudson.
Charlie Montgomery, Lovell’s brother-in-law, said a fund has been started to aid the family. Anyone who wants to donate can go online to www.gofundme.com/5jmdbg. As of Monday, more than $110,000 had been raised. Contributions can also be sent to Nancy Montgomery at PO Box 254, Cold Spring, NY 10516.
Lovell worked for NBC and was on his way to Manhattan do set-up work for the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony, televised Dec. 4. Charlie Montgomery said Lovell took his work very seriously, but his family was his true passion.
“The boys are taking it pretty hard,” Montgomery said of his nephews. “But they have a strong community of friends behind them.”
He said last week was particularly rough for the family because they were not left to grieve in peace. “It was overwhelming for the family. They were fighting off the press and trying to deal with losing Jim.”
Lovell’s oldest son, Finn, 17, wrote a tribute to his father on Instagram: “Words can’t express how much my father meant to me. It’s safe to say he molded me into the man I am today. I love you and I miss you. I can’t believe your gone. This feels like an awful nightmare that I can’t wake up from. Rest easy dad. I love you.”
Tony D’Alessandro of New Hamburg works at Alto Music and was once a neighbor of Lovell.
“Jim was a special guy, first and foremost pleasant, modest and caring of others,” said D’Alessandro. “The salt of the earth. He used to be my neighbor. But more than that he was brilliant. He could just blow your mind the things he knew – multifaceted, just the salt of the earth. Over the years as I got to know Jim, I came to think of him as one of the bright lights that one rarely encounters. When I heard the news it seemed somehow as if the world dimmed.”
“I didn’t know Jim personally, but have glimpsed what a wonderful dad he must have been through seeing the gentlemanly manner of his eldest son, Finn,” said David Dasch of Beacon. “This boy works hard after school at a local supermarket and his demeanor is exemplary as a cashier – always courteous and cheerful, even knowing all of the homework he’ll have to do when he gets home. Surely Jim Lovell’s love and care, along with that of his mother, Nancy Montgomery, have something to do with this.”
“Jim loved hiking the Hudson Highlands with his sons, my wife and me,” said storyteller Jonathan Kruk of Hudson Highlands. “He knew a lot about the American Revolution, especially military history. Not just a history buff, he’d worked on a project with the U.S. Marine Corps about the history of the area. He also had done a study at the Howland Public Library on a documentary.
“We’ve been up to Scofield Ridge, the highest point in this area, and visited the Beacon Fire Tower. Think I will dedicate my new book that is based on Revolutionary War history to him.”
John Gilvey of Hudson Beach Glass in Beacon offered tribute on behalf of the gallery’s co-owners, Wendy Gilvey, Michael Benzer and Jennifer Smith: “Jim was a great friend, really a part of our family, whom we will profoundly miss. He was always willing to jump in and volunteer on community projects and always gave his all."
Read the full story in this week’s print edition
Beacon's unique bicycle tree will be the center of its holiday celebration. - Photo by Linda Hubbard