Inside Downtown 2010 Tour Guide

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LIVE – WORK – PLAY: Rediscover Downtown Rochester! TOUR MAP


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 - 5:30-8:30 p.m. • SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 - 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.



• THE LANDMARK SOCIETY - 133 S. Fitzhugh Street, 9am-3pm, M-F • PARKLEIGH GIFTS - 215 Park Ave. • TAPAS 177 LOUNGE - 177 St. Paul Street • FULL MOON VISTA BIKE & SPORT - 180 St. Paul Street ORDER BY PHONE at 546-7029 x11 and ONLINE at

Anthony Bellomo, co-chair Richard Reisem, co-chair Patrick Dutton Randy Morgenstern Tammy Chmiel Christopher Brandt, Landmark Society/Bero Architecture intern Shelley O’Brien, Landmark Society Events & Volunteer Coordinator Mark Powell, Landmark Society Development Director

TOUR PHOTOGRAPHY: Jack Bloemendaal, Michael Chmiel


SITE WRITE-UPS: Richard Reisem, Christopher Brandt

($20 day of tour, if not sold out) SUNY BROCKPORT METROCENTER Chamber of Commerce Building, 55 Exchange Street, Rochester THE TOUR IS SELF-GUIDED and sites can be visited in any order. The ticket allows one-time entrance to all tour stops on both days. The Inside Downtown Tour is planned as a walking tour, covers multiple city blocks, and includes stairs. Some of the historic buildings are not handicap accessible. Please wear comfortable shoes and socks. Shoe covers required and provided at some residences.

FREE RAFFLE for tour participants! Win a Dine & Stay Luxury package from the Inn on Broadway, including dinner at Tournados Restaurant (26 Broadway, Rochester). Visit for details CITY • INSIDE DOWNTOWN 2010


City Newspaper has generously published the guide to the Inside Downtown Tour for the past seven years.

SPECIAL THANKS TO The Inn on Broadway – raffle sponsor Tapas 177 Lounge – Luncheon host Full Moon Vista Bike & Sport – ticket sales Many thanks also to our Inside Downtown 2010 volunteers, homeowners, building and business owners





nce Rochester’s garment district, the St. Paul Quarter is now home to hundreds of residents, and has evolved into one of downtown’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Bounded by the Genesee River, the Inner Loop, Clinton Avenue North and Division Street, the district has seen significant private investment as several historic buildings have been rehabilitated for a mix of uses. This year, The Landmark Society’s Inside Downtown Tour focuses on this historic area of the city. Tour goers will have the opportunity to view modern living spaces within a district that has undergone many changes throughout the past decades. In the early 1800s, St. Paul Street was lined with single-family homes, one of which was the Andrews family homestead at the southwest corner of St. Paul Street and Andrews Street, now the site of Andrews Terrace. In the late 19th century, however, the area was re-developed to accommodate factory buildings and offices for garment and shoe manufacturers, as well as other trades. Many of those buildings survive to this day offering a variety of architectural styles. Rich detailing can be seen in such buildings as the Beaux Arts-style Granite Building, located at the foot of St. Paul Street, and the High Victorian Gothic H.H. Warner Building, which has a unique façade of cast iron and brick. Other significant works within the neighborhood include Our Lady of Victory Church by Andrew Jackson Warner, and the former Rochester Chamber of Commerce Building by Claude Bragdon. The area also features trendy dining and a vibrant nightlife. Known for such CITY • INSIDE DOWNTOWN 2010

Harry Forman Building, 116 St. Paul.


popular venues as Tapas 177 and Pane Vino Ristorante, the neighborhood also offers more casual dining options such as L J’s II Jamaican Cuisine. Down the street, Full Moon Vista Bike and Sport, which is located in the Smith Gormly Building, carries a full line of cycling equipment, houses a coffee bar and hosts cycling clinics. Another popular destination in the St. Paul Quarter is the Water Street Music Hall. Previously The Warehouse and The Horizontal Boogie Bar, the site has hosted national and international musical acts for decades. Today the venue still draws thousands of music fans each year – booking acts from a wide range of genres. But recreation, shopping, fine dining and a selection of fashionable clubs are not enough for this hip neighborhood. Housed in the former Chamber of Commerce Building, the SUNY College at Brockport Metro Center offers an extensive schedule of college courses. The influx of new residential projects, in addition to existing successes like the Smith Gormly Building, Riverview

Lofts, Water Street Commons and the Michaels-Stern Building, have made the St. Paul Quarter the most populated neighborhood downtown, and transformed some of the city’s most beautiful examples of late 19th and early 20th century architecture into resi-dential spaces that accommodate the needs of the 21st century. Inside Downtown 2010 is a selfguided tour featuring sites that can be visited in any order. A two-day pass provides entrance to all stops during both days of the tour. The tour is Friday, September 24, from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, September 25, from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Member and non-member tickets can be purchased through our web site,, by calling (585) 546-7029 x11 or in person at The Landmark Society at 133 S. Fitzhugh Street (9am - 3pm, M-F). Non-member tickets only will also be sold at Parkleigh, 215 Park Avenue, Full Moon Vista Bike and Sport, 180 St. Paul Street and Tapas 177, 177 St Paul Street.


The creatively converted historic buildings and urban-oriented new construction you will enjoy on this tour exemplify the kind of intelligent and persistent preservation work to which The Landmark Society is dedicated.

upstate New York’s first ordinance protecting historic buildings. Now, we focus on advocating for tax credits and identifying and protecting the next wave of historic resources of the “recent past.”

Tragic abandonment of architectural treasures is all too common. Other cities have torn down their landmark buildings and historic neighborhoods, but many of ours continue as vibrant reminders of our heritage. East Avenue, lauded as “the finest gateway to any city in America” and Mt. Hope Avenue’s wonderfully preserved Victorian-era neighborhood remain as elegant and inviting as ever. Former industrial buildings are finding new life as trendy loft apartments and stylish offices.

For over 73 years, The Landmark Society has been a vital force for historic preservation. One of the oldest and most respected preservation groups in the country, the Society today helps to foster adaptive re-use of older buildings and historic places. We host an annual preservation conference, advise homeowners about rehabilitation, conduct historic resource surveys, and publish award-winning publications. We inform local government on urban planning and design strategies and we champion the values embodied in a green environment.

Why? Because Landmark Society members and concerned residents worked diligently over the years to preserve these resources. In the 1960s, we successfully lobbied to change inappropriate zoning and helped create

Originally founded in 1937 to save the Campbell-Whittlesey House, we continue to operate Monroe County’s oldest structure, the Stone-Tolan House Museum. Our Ellwanger

Garden on Mt. Hope Avenue preserves the original garden of famed Rochester nurseryman George Ellwanger. For students, The Landmark Society provides guided tours on architecture, historic house museums and Rochester’s heritage. For the public, we offer Corn Hill Strolls, the House and Garden Tour, Ghost Walk, Corn Hill Holiday Tour, the Inside Downtown Tour and other events throughout the year. For travelers, our bus and out-of-state tours are increasingly popular. If you are not a member, why not join us today? Use the membership acceptance form below. Membership information also will be located at tour headquarters at the SUNY Brockport MetroCenter in the Chamber of Commerce Building. For more information, contact the office at 546-7029 x16 or check the web at:


Landmark Society members receive great benefits such as discounts on events and a subscription to our quarterly newsletter, Landmarks. Members get to play an important part in our recent past! Visit our website for more information on membership benefits.





181 ST. PAUL STREET The Searle Building, built by Herman S. Searle in 1890, was a six-story clothing manufactory, like the Smith Gormly Building across the street. In the late 1800s, clothing manufacturing was the dominant industry in Rochester, and St. Paul Street was its center. Rochester’s garment industry ranked fourth in the nation in the 1890s, employing half of our city’s workers. The industry here chiefly produced men’s clothing, but women’s shoe manufacturing was also big. At that time, the average wage for garment workers was $415 a year, or $8 for a 58-hour workweek. Searle Building.

From its beginning, the Searle Building housed several factories, including the Knopes Clothing Company, whose painted sign is still visible on the north exterior wall. It is a brick building with a cast-iron front on the first two stories of the façade. The architecture is typical late 19th-century commercial with Romanesque details, like the arched windows and dentil moulding on the sixth floor. The first floor contains retail establishments, with the upper five floors providing residential lofts. A partial 7th floor was added some years ago. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and carries the Landmark Society’s “red” (top) designation for its historic architectural importance. Patrick Dutton and his partners in Belmont Properties purchased the CITY • INSIDE DOWNTOWN 2010


building a year-and-a-half ago and are in the process of restoring it, creating loft apartments above the first floor. The lofts are currently rental units, but may be converted to condominiums in the future. Apartment 2A occupies the entire length of the left bay of the three-bay building, up a long stairway from the first floor. Large 10-foot-high, thermopane windows line the street wall and similar windows line the back wall of this long rectangular loft with 2,400 square feet. The entire space still retains its original tin ceiling and is covered with the original refinished redoak floors. The Christopher Day family not only utilizes the vast open space for

living, but, being musicians, create music and events for their Headliner Entertainment organization by moving around furnishings as necessary, keeping in place, of course, elements such as a recording-equipment booth.


180 ST. PAUL STREET Most 19th-century industrial buildings lack the architectural details present on the Smith Gormly Building at 180 St. Paul Street. It was built in the final years of the 1880s for the preeminent clothing manufacturer in Rochester, Stein Bloch Clothing Company, which occupied the building through the 1920s. Only half of the original building stands today; the south half continues on page 8


Smith Gormly Building.


was demolished in the 20th century. The project architect was a young Claude Bragdon who was working for Charles S. Ellis, younger brother of the famous artist, designer, and architect, Harvey Ellis. The brothers had formed the architectural firm H. & C.S. Ellis and were followers of one of the greatest American architects, Henry Hobson Richardson. Richardson developed a distinctive style of architecture known as Richardsonian Romanesque. Harvey Ellis left the firm in 1885 to pursue other artistic endeavors, leaving his brother Charles to work on the Stein Bloch building, which reflects the Romanesque style they admired.

1970s, the building was for sale, and John Summers, a real estate investor, bought it in 1976. The next year, it became the first industrial building in Rochester to be converted to residential loft apartments. The suites occupied the top three floors and varied in size from 800 square feet to 3,000 square feet.

It is a six-story, brick structure with terra-cotta decoration and red sandstone cladding on the first two stories of the façade. Grand two-story-high stone arches supported by stone pilasters march across the façade, and the arches are repeated in brick and terra cotta on the sixth floor.

Also on the first floor is Suite 101, the residential loft of Paul Manuse with 2,100 square feet on two levels. The living/entertainment room has exposed brick walls and a dramatic 20-foot ceiling with chestnut wood beams. The kitchen/dining area has a lower ceiling to accommodate two bedrooms above it. Also on the first floor is a third bedroom and bath.

In 1934, the building was sold to Smith Gormly Company, Inc., a wholesale dry goods merchant. Their metal plaque above the second floor continues to identify the building to this day. By the CITY • INSIDE DOWNTOWN 2010

Four suites are open to visitors on this tour. On the first floor to the left as you enter is the Full Moon Vista Bike & Sport shop, which sells the industry’s best brands (Trek, LeMond, Gary Fisher, Seven, Bacchetta, and Bianchi). The friendly staff will be on hand to answer questions.

On the second floor of the Smith Gormly Building in Suite 201 is Studio 180, which is a group of

Smith Gormly Building.



wedding professionals including five independent photographers, an event planner, and a floral wedding/event designer. The founding photographers include John Larkin, Michael Hanlon, Paul Mattison, Tressa Ross, and Chelse Thompson. A west-facing wall of windows provides this high-ceilinged photographic studio with abundant daylight. Also on the second floor is Pike Stained Glass Studios in Suite 203. Here, owner and director Valerie O’Hara and her staff create and repair stained and leaded glass windows in a 4,000-square-foot studio, naturally lighted by large, clear windows on three sides of the space. The studio was founded by William Pike, O’Hara’s great uncle, who moved here in 1908 after working for Louis Comfort continues on page 10 ROCHESTERCITYNEWSPAPER.COM • CITY

Tiffany Studios in New York City. You will see stained-glass windows in all stages of design and production.


116 ST. PAUL STREET With its brick pilasters, dentil cornice, and cast-stone trim, 116 St. Paul Street displays hints of Beaux Arts style architecture. The threestory, brick building was constructed in 1914 and from 1937 to 1999, it was Harry Forman’s Clothing Store, which sold men’s clothing at this site for 62 years. The first floor is still a retail establishment today, and the second and third floors are residential apartments––four on the second floor and the penthouse on third, of which the penthouse and Apt. C on the second floor are on today’s tour. Justin DaMore occupies Apt. C, which is 1,600 square feet. The original narrow-board, hardwood floor was refinished and varnished to keep a piece of the building’s history and to provide the warmth of wood in the apartment. Another historic artifact is an original metal firedoor that has been decoratively painted and given a new role. To eliminate noise from the floor above, a new, insulated ceiling was installed and is suspended on wires from the original ceiling to keep the living space super quiet. An interesting art collection decorates the walls. The penthouse is home to the owners of the building, Randy and Dan Morgenstern, who bought the vacant building four years ago and meticulously restored the entire structure. Here in the 4,000 squarefoot loft, the original wood floors make a sweeping statement as does the extensive cabinetry and special paint applications designed and 10 CITY • INSIDE DOWNTOWN 2010

A walled room behind the kitchen area creates a generous pantry and a curving wall separates the master bedroom from the main area. When Chase-Pitkin closed its doors, Dan Morgenstern bought some metal shelving and ingeniously fashioned the pieces into a unique four-poster bed. The bedroom fireplace does double duty by being open to the living area as well. When asked about the elegant furnishings, Randy Morgenstern replied that all of it came from Rochester and that there was no need to go elsewhere to find interesting furnishings. Harry Forman Building, 116 St. Paul.


crafted by local artists in consultation with Randy and Dan. The delicately restored original tin ceiling covers the entire loft space with a motif of architecturally delineated squares. In the course of renovating 116 St. Paul, the Morgensterns replaced 90 windows

with energy-efficient versions and kept the original 3rd floor elevator door as a door to their media room. Although the major living space is open, it is divided by furnishings into living, dining, kitchen, and office areas.

As expected, loft space like this permits expansive bathroom, sauna, dressing rooms, closets, storage, laundry and ironing rooms, et al. They are all particularly handsome and elegant. Finally, adding another 700 square feet to this penthouse is a guest suite that includes living and dining areas, continues on page 12


kitchen, bedroom and bath. It is all spectacular use of 4,700 square feet of third-floor space.


*Please note this site is open for the tour Friday evening and Saturday afternoon (1:30 – 4:00pm) only*

Our Lady of Victory Church is a rare and unique example of the French Renaissance architectural style. This stylistic language is exemplified by the ogee front gable, arched brick corbelling, and the hipped cat-slide tower roofs. The parish, formed by French Catholics from Belgium and France in 1848, commissioned famed local architect A. J. Warner to create this church reminiscent of those they had left behind in their homelands. Completed in 1868, it was the first church consecrated under the new Rochester Catholic Diocese, and has remained as a contstant in the neighborhood throughout years of great change.

Our Lady of Victory/St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church PHOTO BY MICHAEL CHMIEL


Our Lady of Victory underwent its most trying years during the 1970s. In 1970, only seven years after an extensive $100,000 restoration, the church was slated for demolition to widen Pleasant Street. Parish members, community activists, academics, and the Landmark Society joined together and successfully saved the church, getting it designated as a City of Rochester Landmark later that year. Soon after Our Lady of Victory became a refuge for parishioners from St. Joseph’s Church which had been destroyed by fire, and became officially known as Our Lady of Victory/St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church. Through the elaborate wrought iron front door grill work you are greeted with an equally unique and beautiful sanctuary. Much of what you see, although true to its original form, is a reincarnation of the original

interior from 1912 when much of it was scorched by fire. The original hand painted stenciling, carved black walnut pews, carved walnut stations of the cross, and kneeling rail can be seen in the old photos provided by the parish for your viewing. The most striking feature of the entire sanctuary is the triple barrel vaulted ceiling. The smaller side aisle arcaded vaulting has a unique feature in that there are no columns supporting the arcade, but instead the vaulting converges to a series of what could be called architectural “stalactites.” This arcading frames the series of beautiful stenciled and painted glass windows original to 1868. You will notice the painted inscriptions of a number of prominent parishioners who paid for each window. Consequently the parishioner who paid for the window chose an elaborate symbolic image to be put at the top of their windows,

these include: Crown and Mystical Rose, The Ark of the Covenant, Tower of David, Immaculate Heart of Mary, a lamb, the Crest of Pope Pius IX, and others. The altar and flanking reredos are exceptional examples of mid 19th century ecclesiastical wood carving, although not the originals carved by Mr. Bleuel of Rochester. The stations of the cross, which replaced the originals in 1912, are unique in that they are oil paint on brass. As you exit the church be sure to see the Gothic styled rectory built soon after the church in the late 19th century and the parish garden that has been maintained by parishioners since the early 20th century.


82 ST. PAUL STREET Built in 1884, and designed by Louis P. Rogers of New York City, continues on page 14


H. H. Warner Building.


the H. H. Warner building is a monument to the success of its creator. The seven story building contained all of the operations of Warner’s Patent Medicine business. These floors provided for the administrative offices, shipping, advertising, publishing, mass mailing, and production facilities of Warner’s “snake oil” medicinal empire. After the fall of the Warner Company the building has served as offices and storage, and remained mostly vacant until 2009 when Mark IV Enterprises began to develop the entire top six floors into residential condos. The façade of the building is a unique High Victorian Gothic style with its extensively arched cast iron front that makes the building seem lighter than it is. Some things to notice are the large arches on the fifth floor, ornate detailing throughout the façade, and the Gothic arches that are intermixed with the rounded arches. Before heading up to see the three lofts on the tour, be sure to stop in to see the Renaissance Gallery. The gallery makes great use of the extensive glass in the façade, and is currently showcasing the work of local artist and Mercy High School teacher Mary Pat 14 CITY • INSIDE DOWNTOWN 2010

O’Brien. Also on the first floor is the original 1880s safe replete with hand painted decoration and the catch box for the building’s Cutler Mail Chute system (a Rochester invention). As you are waiting for the elevator be sure to notice the recurring theme throughout the building of load-bearing cast iron columns, maple floors, and “wavy” brick vaulted ceilings. Loft 2G is the St. Joseph Suite. Upon exiting the elevator you will notice the beautiful hall tables made by Lance Taylor that adorn each floor. At the entrance of each apartment is a small shelf allowing each tenant to display something unique, lending the hallways a whimsical character. The residents of this apartment enjoy the high ceilings (nearly 16’ tall) and exposed brickwork, along with an amazing view from their windows. Make sure to notice the creative use of the soffit work, which defines spaces while also altering as little of the original building as possible. This is perhaps most evident in the kitchen where the new wall cups around the original cast iron column. The St. Paul Quarter Suite is Loft 3B. This resident is a Brockport Professor Emeritus and prolific painter who loves the two walls of arched windows in

the apartment. Much like the previous floors, the cast irons columns and brick vaulting provide for inspiring spaces. Be sure to see the recessed bricked archway in the bedroom. The last unit on the tour is Loft 5M, the College Suite. Upon entering you are greeted with a fascinating display of the resident’s unique shoe collection. Around the corner, the whimsical curved wall leads to the main living space where you encounter the grand fifth floor arched windows. Perhaps even more inspiring than the arched windows is the expansive view – from which one can see the fireworks at Frontier Field.


SUNY BROCKPORT METROCENTER 55 ST. PAUL STREET The Chamber of Commerce Building, like the Eastman Theater and School of Music, and the Dental Dispensary, are part of George Eastman’s public building legacy in Rochester. Built in 1916 and designed by this area’s “most innovative architect” Claude Bragdon, the Chamber of Commerce Building is both famous for its architecture and infamous for the politics surrounding the design. The Chamber served as a networking, administrative, and central core for Rochester area businesses for decades until, following the merger and creation of the Rochester Business Alliance, the building was sold for use as SUNY Brockport’s MetroCenter. The building now houses the college’s administrative and faculty offices along with classrooms.

The exterior, composed mainly of gleaming white marble, is designed mainly in the Italian Renaissance Style. The building’s restrained elegance, fine lines, substantial decorative cornice, and use of marble are typical of this style, however Bragdon’s unique sense

of ornament and geometry can be seen in the design of the decorative copper balconies, reminiscent of his grand New York Central Railroad Terminal. Entering through the front door one is presented with an inspiring marble foyer with the grand staircase to the right. Going to the right one proceeds through a quarter sawn oak entry hall preparing one for the great central hall ahead. The grand central hall is a sight to behold; make sure to take a moment to take it all in. The central hall’s design is the source of a supposed Eastman Bragdon feud. Claude Bragdon had intended to utilize more extensive ornament on the vaulted ceiling and pillars of the Grand Hall, much like the Railroad Terminal. George Eastman, who financed the building, wanted the interior to be restrained and lacking the unique and extensive ornament that Bragdon desired and was known for. After the building was completed Bragdon by choice or by force ceased to practice architecture in Rochester, and soon moved to New York City to pursue stage design. The end result in architectural terms is somewhere in the middle, with the ornament being limited to the column capitals, arched ceiling banding, and air circulation vents. All of the woodwork is quarter-sawn oak, and much of the interior remains intact as it was conceived in 1916. At the end of the central hall is an equally grand staircase with an elaborate balustrade that wraps around and back along the side of the central hall. Be sure to notice the “hand-fitted” railing of the staircase, along with the abstracted organic ornament adorning the columns and arches.



Enjoy a selection of signature specialties as an outstanding dinner lounge opens for a special luncheon to benefit the Landmark Society.

Tapas 177 Lounge 177 St. Paul Street

A unique St. Paul Quarter location for dinner, cocktails and live entertainment, Tapas 177 Lounge is offering a special lunch menu during the Inside Downtown Tour to benefit the Landmark Society of Western New York. Known for a creative fusion of familiar and exotic flavors from around the world, Tapas will feature a range of items from their tapas menu – from their signature chicken paillard salad and southwest style crab cakes to beef seared sea scallops and more. Lunch will also include a soft drink and dessert. Luncheon served 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on Saturday of the tour $15.00 per person Does not include gratuity.

Buy tickets online at or call 546-7029 x11 Tickets also available at Tapas 177 Lounge ROCHESTERCITYNEWSPAPER.COM • CITY 15