Times Square Building
One of the more famous sights on Rochester’s skyline is the building with the wings on top.
The Times Square building located at 45 Exchange Boulevard was once the Genesee Valley Trust Company bank building. Citizens Bank more recently occupied the first floor, but they have moved out. More and more banks seem to be leaving the downtown area. Genesee Valley Trust Company is now a subsidiary of Canandaigua National Bank.
On the left is an old postcard showing the “winged tower of the Genesee Valley Trust Co.”. The tower with the wings is known as the “Wings of Progress”. Each wing weighs 12,000 pounds. The building is 260 feet tall, making it the eighth tallest building in Rochester. The building was built in 1930, and the cornerstone was laid in 1929 on “black Tuesday” during the 1929 stock market crash.
The nesting box for the falcons which was once located on Kodak Office Tower is now located on the Times Square building. If you are lucky, you might see the falcons flying around. I was out at lunchtime a few weeks ago and spotted a lady with a camera with an enormous zoom lens attached. She was looking at the statue of Mercury on the top of the former Lawyers Coop building. When I looked up, I saw an enormous bird take off from the statue and swoop down and then up to land on top of the Time Square building. Some online research helped me figure out I’d seen one of the nesting falcons. For more information, see http://rfalconcam.com/rfc-main/.
Hochstein School of Music and Dance’s Performance Hall is located at the corners of Church Street and Plymouth Avenue. Formerly the Central Presbyterian Church, it was purchased by Hochstein in 1978 for $1.
According to hochstein.org, the building was “fully renovated in 1999 to include state-of-the-art acoustics, theatre seating, stage and house lighting, Crest Audio System, and amenities for the hearing impaired” (hochstein.org, n.d.).
The Central Presbyterian Church was originally known as the Bethel Church and established in 1836. The church was built on the site of the former Post family home (Isaac and Amy Post) who were Quakers and abolitionists. Their home was a stop on the Underground Railway, and they helped many slaves to freedom. Their story is a fascinating one – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_and_Isaac_Post.
The Hochstein performance hall seats 857, and all seats are within 50 feet of the stage. Hochstein is also a music school, offering instruction in music and dance to anyone regardless of age or skill level.