Steel Plant Property
The Steel Plant Studios are housed in the former steel fabrication plant pieced together by Martin Kurkhill and Morris B. May via three purchases. In the early 1980s Morris May sold his share of the properties to Martin Kurkhill, and in 1984 Martin Kurkhill and his wife Sylvia sold the property to Marist College. The building remained unimproved for about thirteen years, serving only as storage. The college realized that the plant would be in the middle of the eventual campus, but did not have the funds to remodel and renovate the space until 1987. When the route nine highway was expanded from one to two lanes both northbound and southbound the state had agreed to construct a brick wall on the side facing route nine; later the college extended the wall to its current length. The rugged construction and high ceilings form a charming setting for the art courses, exhibits, and socials sponsored by the college art department. See note for details. (Source: Marist College Land History: Marist Land East of Route Nine)
When the college was looking for an appropriate site for the Cannavino Library, the most likely spot was the site of the then current library. This meant that the current library had to be demolished, and a temporary location for the library be located. At first the thought was to create a closed stack library in the vacant steel plant, but it soon became apparent that the steel plant had sufficient space to create an open stack library with all the amenities of the then current library available. One argument against using the steel plant was its location east of route nine; this became moot when it became apparent that half the resident students lived east of route nine. The steel plant served this important function at Marist College for two years: 1997-1999.
Meanwhile the art department located in several places. In 1984 the art department operated in some space in Donnelly (as did the Fashion Program) currently occupied by the computer stations accessible to students. When that space was reserved for the computer operation, the art program was relocated to Marist East (located in rented space in the former Western Publishing Company building across the street). Fashion was also relocated to its current rooms at the north entrance to Donnelly. When the lease on Marist East expired, the art program was moved into Donnelly in classroom space adjacent to Fashion. When the Cannavino Library opened, the steel plant became available. Art moved to that location in 1999, and Fashion expanded into the Donnelly classrooms which had been used by the art program. (Source: Marist College Land History: Marist Land East of Route Nine)
Note A7 Details of deeds related to Steel Plant Studio
21 Dec 1984 liber 1656 page 490: Martin A & Sylvia Kurkhill to Marist College
The deed mentions three separate parcels previously acquired by the Kurkhills.
3 Feb 1917 liber 396 page 492: Fairview Improvement Co to Christian F. Bahret
23 Nov 1956 liber 933 page 185 Rosa Bahret, sole survivor of & executor of estate of Christian Bahret to Martin Kurkhill & Morris B May.
trapezoid 341 feet south of Fulton between Bech Place and railroad width 57.6 north-to-south and 166 north and 133 south
parcel #2 8 Jun 1941 liber 1059 page 915 Fairview Improvement Co to Martin Kurkhill and Morris B May
50' x 30' strip to Bech Place ?
parcel #3 1927 liber 485 page 361: Fairview Improvement Company to James & Nellie Bergin
1 Nov 1927 liber 480 page 474: James & Nellie Bergin to Thomas Czaplenski
30 Nov 1948 liber 612 page 451: Thomas & Helen Czaplenski to John Blandino
16 Apr 1945 liber 625 page 57: John & Helen Blandino to Louis Lazar & Alfred Dube
24 Dec 1945 liber 634 page 146: Alfred M Dube and Louis Lazar & ano to Stephen Balint
8 Dec 1949 liber 734 page 507: Stephen Balint to Mollie Eisner & Irvin M Tofel
31 Mar 1950 liber 740 page 309: Irvin M Tofel to Mollie Eisner
1 Apr 1952 liber 799 page 334: Mollie Eisner of 45 Hooker Ave to Martin Kurkhill of Mt Kisco
144' x 30' strip between building and Bech Place