All the controversy over whether or not to demolish the 120 year-old brewhouse at 13 Cataract Street got us thinking. Those in favor of demolishing the building say it’s an eyesore and a haven for drug dealers; even prostitutes. So, just remove the building and our problems go away.
But if we demolished every eyesore in Rochester, would we have solved all the City’s problems? Or might we end up tossing the proverbial “baby” out with the bath water? For the next two weeks we’ll take a look at some local eyesores …or rather, opportunities, nearly lost.
133 Fitzhugh Street
David Hoyt, a prominent Rochester bookseller and stationer, had this Greek Revival style house built in 1840 for his wife and eight children. Hoyt became one of the organizers and largest stockholder of what would become Western Union Telegraph Company and sold his house to successful businessman Henry S. Potter.
In 1969 Jack Lubelle became sole owner of the Hoyt-Potter House, then a boarding house. Already in bad shape by 1972, the owner began a twenty-year process of suing the city for permission to demolish the building. In 1989 a judge denied the final demolition request and the City of Rochester won an appeal to take title (the owner received fair market value payment).
A request for proposals followed and was answered by Hoyt-Potter Associates with a plan to rehabilitate the house. Today it is the home of the Landmark Society and the Wenrich Memorial Library , one of the region’s finest collections of materials on architecture, decorative arts, horticulture, local history and landmarks. The Corn Hill Neighbors Association is also located here.
And here is the “opportunity” we nearly lost…
Thanks to Caitlin at The Landmark Society for the “before” photo! And thanks to Rich Margolis for the “after” photo!
How You Can Help…
Speak out against the demolition of 13 Cataract Street. Send an email to the Brewery and City Hall and show your support for a larger vision—Rochester’s Brewery Square.
And attend the public hearing on April 4 at 8pm and sign up to speak in favor of preserving 13 Cataract for future development and reuse.
Tags: adaptive reuse, Bero Architecture, Corn Hill Neighbors Association, Fitzhugh Street, From Eyesore to Opportunity, Hoyt-Potter house, Landmark Society of Western New York, Rochester, Rochester NY, Rochester Public Market
This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 at 8:10 am 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.
The Hoyt-Potter House (133 Fitzhugh) is immediately visible from the outside eating area of Nathaniel’s Pub. I was just there the other day thinking what a great looking house it is/was and how lucky we are to have it. I didn’t know it was slated for/saved from demolition. It stands in sharp contrast from the office building across the street from it which probably took over a similar homes lot.