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County Courthouse (City Hall Historic District) - Rochester, NY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member sagefemme
N 43° 09.317 W 077° 36.825
18T E 287489 N 4781375
Quick Description: Built as the County Courthouse, Monroe County executive and legislative branches conduct business here, along with the County Clerk.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 12/26/2011 4:11:14 PM
Waymark Code: WMDCWN
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 0

Long Description:
Described by Paul Malo as "romanticised classicism" the County Courthouse was built by J. Foster Warner, son of A. J. Warner, builder of the Rochester Free Academy and the original City Hall, both within this historic district. Says Malo:
Here the model is drawn from the Italian Renaissance... and it is different in kind from the classicism of Greek Revival. The studied design and careful detailing of the facade as well as of the interiors indicate high standards of a period that has not always been admired for its taste. Built of New Hampshire granite, this monument is... [a] major work of J. Foster Warner, the local architect whose work is seen so frequently here. Source: NRHP nomination form

The interior is organized around an open central courtyard covered by a skylight nearly 100 feet above the ground floor. Ornammental plasterwork, marble arcades, wroght iron grille-work, iron stairs and brass railings have all been well preserved in place contributing to an impressive and opulent overall effect. (Source: NRHP nomination form)

In 1821, Monroe County was formed, and on September 4, the cornerstone of the first courthouse was laid. The lot on which it was built was deeded to the county by Cols. Nathaniel Rochester and William Fitzhugh and by Major Charles Carroll, stipulating that the land was "to be used for the county court house forever." These three gentlemen from Maryland that purchased a 100 acre tract from Ebenezer "Indian" Allen, who built the first grist mill on the west side of the Genesee River at High Falls in compliance with conditions of a land deal with the local indians in exchange for title to several million acres of land in 1789. (Source: American Guide series Rochester and Monroe County)

The first structure built on this site was a courthouse, completed in 1822, In 1851, construction was completed on a new three-story courthouse was constructed. Built from brick molded at Cobb's Hill by Gideon Cobb, one of the community's first business leaders. On Independence Day 1894, the cornerstone for the current Monroe County Office Building was laid. The cornerstone displays the construction date of all three buildings. (Source: Monroe County website)

From 1924-1926, a one story addition linking the courthouse to the City Hall was built by John Strebel.

Although the court functions moved to the Public Safety Building south of this building, on Exchange Blvd, the county legislative and executive functions are still housed here.

The text of this plaque affixed to the W Main and S Fitzhugh Sts corner of the building reads:

COUNTY OF MONROE - Created February 23, 1821 - named for James Monroe - born April 23 1753, Virginia - died July 4, 1831, New York - Major in the American Revolution - Senator from Virginia - United States Minister to France and to England - Twice Governor of Virginia - Secretary of State and of War - Proclaimed the Monroe Doctrine, December 2, 1823 - Fifth President of the United States 1817-1825 - "The Era of Good Feeling"

In grateful appreciation this marker is erected by - the Board of Supervisors of the County of Monroe - under the auspices of the - National Society United States Daughters of 1812 - State of New York - 1951

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]

39 West Main Street, Rochester, NY 14614 (Irving Place to the east, South Fitzhugh St to the west)

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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sagefemme visited County Courthouse (City Hall Historic District) - Rochester, NY 11/29/2011 sagefemme visited it