The intersection at State and Main Streets in downtown Rochester, known as the Four Corners, was once the epicenter of the city. I’m going to let these two photos do most of the talking for me in this article. The photo below is of the Four Corners, looking north toward State Street.
The postcard I’m holding in my hand is from the early 1900’s (maybe 1912-ish). Holding it up in front of the same location in 2009, it becomes a tiny window onto the past.
The Four Corners once had some of the most beautiful examples of Victorian, Gothic, Romanesque, and Neoclassical architecture standing at each corner. The Powers Building and the Wilder Building are still there—kiddie corner from each other. But the Elwood Building and the Rochester Trust & Safe Deposit Co. building have since been replaced with contemporary glass office buildings.
Here’s very same intersection as it looks today…
Also worth noting, the Powers Building was the site of the very first house in Rochester—Hamlet Scrantom’s cabin. Also, in 1893, the first 12-way rail crossing in the world was built at the Four Corners intersection. Known as the ‘Grand Union’ it connected the Rochester & Sodus Bay and Rochester & Eastern Interurbans.
UPDATE: The postcard featured in this article (Rochester’s Four Corners) can now be viewed in greater detail here.
Tags: architecture, city, downtown Rochester, Elwood Building, Four Corners, Gothic, Grand-Union, Main Street, Neoclassical, New York, NY, old photos, photo, photography, pictures, Powers Building, railroad, Rochester, Rochester history, Rochester Trust & Safe Deposit Company, Romanesque, trolley, Victorian, views, vintage, vintage postcard, vintage views, Wilder Building
This entry was posted on Saturday, April 18th, 2009 at 9:18 pm and is filed under Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Well, the problem is that we have built nothing worth being around. Where’s the human scaled space here? It’s just someplace to drive through. Parking lots, blank facades devoid of any sort of detail or ornamentation, nothing worth stopping to look at. It’s what you get w a car based society. No doubt you’ve replaced all this loss with some real ‘beauty’ in your malls and subdivisions.