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Rochester Free Academy (City Hall Historic District) - Rochester, NY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member sagefemme
N 43° 09.289 W 077° 36.841
18T E 287466 N 4781324
Quick Description: The building that once housed the Rochester Free Academy sits at 13 South Fitzhugh Street, Rochester, NY 14614. Today it is most easily identified by the "Pioneer School" historical marker in front.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 12/26/2011 8:23:57 AM
Waymark Code: WMDCRC
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 2

Long Description:
According to the historical marker, the "first schoolhouse in Rochester was built of wood on this site, 1813. It was replaced by a
two-story stone building, 1836, and by this structure, 1873."

"The Free Academy is a highly sophisticated, elegantly crafted work dating from 1872-73. Similar to some of the best work of the time in England, there is a decorative surface quality, largely flat, expressing frank use of brick, enriched with flush bands of stone and elaborately emphasized pointed arches over the openings. The contrast of plain surface with delicately carved colonnettes and incised panels above the window transoms, the important slate roofs, and the lively, if somewhat agitated, angularity are intrinsically consistent with a stylistic whole, well understood and well expressed here. Certainly the Rochester Free Academy is one of A. J. Warner's major accomplishments and the best building of its kind in the county. " ...

"The "Ruskinian" Rochester Free Academy... shares some of the same verticality [with City Hall), with its pointed arches, steep mansard roofs; but the academy has more horizontal belt courses and more articulated facades rooting it more firmly to the ground that the delicate linear City Hall. The academy is three and a half stories tall with a four and a half story tower on the northeast corner. With mannerist asymmetry the tower is almost matched by an extended gable on the southeast corner on the front (Fitzhugh Street) facade. The building is red brick lavishly trimmed with Ohio and Gainesville stone and set on a blue limestone foundation.

"ON the interior the main open well staircase is in the southeast corner with a mahogany handrail, carved balusters and newel. Throughout the building the original wood framing has been reinforced with steel I-beams and the former classroom spaces have been divided into offices. Ten foot by five foot panelled mahogany doors, original moldings and hardware still survive on the interior." (visit link)

As a school this building could accommodate 400 students, a library and and office. The first classes were held in 1874. The boys' school was located on the second floor; the girls' school located on the third floor. (visit link)

In 1904, following the completion of two new high schools, the building became a Municipal Court and Education Building. Starting 1926, the building has been occupied by the Board of Education. The Board of Education moved to its own building at 131 W Broad St in the early 1970s.
Name of Historic District (as listed on the NRHP): City Hall Historic District

Link to page with the Historic District: [Web Link]

NRHP Historic District Waymark (Optional): [Web Link]

13 South Fitzhugh Street, Rochester, NY 14614

How did you determine the building to be a contributing structure?: Narrative found on the internet (Link provided below)

Optional link to narrative or database: [Web Link]

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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sagefemme visited Rochester Free Academy (City Hall Historic District) - Rochester, NY 11/29/2011 sagefemme visited it
Mr. Packrat visited Rochester Free Academy (City Hall Historic District) - Rochester, NY 1/31/2009 Mr. Packrat visited it

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