New owners discuss future of Culver hardware building

The new owners of the building at 120 S. Main Street, which will cease to be home to Culver's hardware store after the end of this month, say they hope to enhance Culver's downtown business offerings in the space.

Robert Hollender and Whitney Alvis, purchasers of the building, spoke to The Culver Citizen about their plans, but after deadline for the report in last week's edition about the final days for the hardware, which has found a home at 120 S. Main for over 100 years now. Previous owner Dave Beggs said he plans to retire from the hardware business, though he and his wife Susan will continue to operate the Main Street Manor across the street.

"Whitney and I are very excited about the project at the hardware store," says Hollender, of Illinois. "We do intend to split the Main Street frontage into two retail spaces...we hope that making the spaces smaller will encourage more business in the downtown area."

Utilizing the structure as two separate store fronts is actually a return to earlier usage for the building. In 2007, the late Bill Snyder, who purchased the business from his father Paul in 1967, recalled prior owner O.T. Goss using only the north portion of the building as a store, with the south section limited to storage of hardware stock. It was Paul Snyder who opened up the space into its current, single-room status, after he purchased it from Goss -- who had owned it himself for 37 years -- in 1943.

"We are currently brainstorming ideas of what to do with the rest of the space," Hollender adds. "So, as I understand is fairly common, any other rumors about what might happen with the space are just that… rumors."

Hollender, a contractor himself, says he's as disappointed as anyone that Culver will no longer be home to a hardware store.

"We were very hopeful that a hardware store would be able to continue," he says, "but through a series of conversations with many different people, that was not possible...we too will certainly miss being able to run into the local hardware for all sorts of miscellaneous items."

And while a hardware store is decidedly what 120 S. Main Street will not be, Hollender and Alvis are still contemplating what will go into the space.

"More than anything, Whitney and I are just thrilled to become business owners in Culver," Hollender says. "We feel that there is wonderful growth potential downtown, and we are excited to aesthetically refurbish the hardware store corner to some of its historical glory. We really believe that the building can serve as a beautiful bookend to the downtown area."

Alvis, a 1996 Culver Girls Academy graduate, concurs, noting she and Hollender "both love the town and look forward to contributing to the community in many positive ways."