Now that I’m walking at lunchtime to lose weight, I have started to take a good look around me as I walk along.  I have been taking some photos with my phone, and I decided to do a little research on some of the buildings I see every day. I will share some of what I have learned here in a series of posts.

Kodak Office Building
Kodak Office Building (Kodak World Headquarters)

Built in 1912-1914, the Kodak Office Building was originally made with 16 stories and a flat roof.  At the time, it was the tallest building in Rochester. Stories 17-19 and the aluminum tower on the roof were added in 1930.  The building stands at 360 feet tall.  It is the fourth tallest building in Rochester.  It is a modified French Renaissance style and it was constructed with a steel skeleton faced with terra cotta and brick. It is located at 343 State Street.
I am old enough to remember when Kodak was the largest employer in Rochester.  I cringed every time some kid in school would say, “where does your Daddy work?  My Daddy works at Kodak.”  At the time, a job at Kodak was a job for life.  Now the Kodak Office Building houses other companies in addition to Kodak.  “Carestream Health, a Kodak spin-off, now owns part of this building complex as well and uses it as its headquarters. Additional parts of the complex are for sale as Kodak continues to downsize” (RocWiki, n.d.). Kodak, now, is just a shell of its former self.
Kodak World Headquarters (Kodak Office)


Wilder Building
Wilder Building

Built between 1887 and 1888, the Wilder Building is an eleven story steel or iron framed brick clad structure. The building’s style is classed as modified Romanesque. At the time it was built, it was considered to be Rochester’s first modern skyscraper. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Wilder Building stands 170 feet tall and is the red brick building located at 1 East Main Street at the Four Corners in Rochester.

Wilder Building (red) on right. 
Crossroads Building (black glass) behind Wilder Building.
The Wilder Building’s architect was J.G. Cutler (also known as the inventor of the Cutler mail chute). “The Wilder Building features rusticated stonework at the street level, pressed red brick decorated with terra cotta on the upper floors, multiple arched windows, and decorative turrets” (emporis.com, 2012). Sadly, the Wilder Building no longer sports its turrets on the top. I do not know what happened to them.

Crossroads Building

Originally known as the Security Trust Company Building, the Crossroads Building is located at 2 State Street. It stands 215 feet tall and has 15 floors (no 13th floor!). It was built in 1969. It has a steel frame and is covered with glass and granite. Its architectural style is called “international”.  

Crossroads Building
The Crossroads Building stands on the site of the old Elwood building (built in 1879 and demolished in 1967). The Elwood building was known for its large Gothic clock tower, its (Cutler) mail chutes and its gargoyles. It was the first building to use mail chutes in 1884. Sadly, the Elwood building was torn down in 1967 as part of the Genesee Crossroads Urban Renewal Project. The gargoyles were saved and put into storage.

Elwood Building
Gargoyles on Elwood Building

Stay tuned for more downtown Rochester historical tidbits. I will share more later.

SOURCES:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodak_Tower
http://rocwiki.org/Kodak_Headquarters
http://www.emporis.com/building/kodaktower-rochester-ny-usa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilder_Building
http://www.emporis.com/building/wilderbuilding-rochester-ny-usa
http://www.lowerfalls.org/100acrestour/pics/wilderBuildingCirca1900.jpg
http://www.emporis.com/building/crossroadsbuilding-rochester-ny-usa
http://www.emporis.com/building/elmwoodbuilding-rochester-ny-usa
http://www.libraryweb.org/rochimag/architecture/LostRochester/Elwood/Elwood.htm
http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/exhibits/2b1c1_cutler.html
http://www.emporis.com/images/show/438210-Large.jpg