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The Man Behind Somers’ Doherty Building

SOMERS, N.Y. – It is possible you pass the Doherty Building almost every day without realizing it.

It is adjacent to the Heritage Hills Shopping Center on Route 202 and is the current home of Somers Custom Framing & Gifts along with a few private offices.

The man behind the Doherty Building , though he is often in front of it, is Bob Doherty , whose life in Somers dates to the 1950s.

“Originally, I was from the Bronx. Isn’t everybody?” said Doherty. “I’m retired now, but I was a butcher for over 50 years. A butcher is always a butcher. I had a shop right here, called Doherty’s Deli. Now it's the frame shop. I closed up in ’05 or ’06. I had very nice customers.”

On most summertime Saturdays, Doherty can be seen in front of the building, selling his collection of antique wares. “I’m over 80 now. I have six kids. My wife passed away in ’96. So now I do the antiques to keep myself busy. I don’t really make money at it. I’m a collector. It’s an addiction,” he said.

“I used to have a girlfriend and I used to take her to auctions. Now I have all this,” he added, gesturing to his tables loaded with antique doorstops, brasses, hardware and other memorabilia, “and I don’t have a girlfriend.”

What is his specialty? “I buy everything. Anything I like. If I sell something, I sell something. If I don’t, I don’t. I have a lot of different kinds of elephants, for example. The circus is gone now, but the clowns are left,” he adds with a smile.

A good portion of the Doherty Building is used to house the antique collection. The items on display in the parking lot represent only a small portion. “I got a good buy on dolls,” he said, opening a closet door to reveal the collection. “I was going to give them to some needy kids for Christmas but then I got sick.”

“Being a landlord keeps me going,” Doherty explained. “I have to pay up to $40,000 a year in taxes. In case anybody’s looking, I’ve got rental space available.”

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