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Bissell House (East Avenue Historic District) - Rochester, NY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member sagefemme
N 43° 09.203 W 077° 35.184
18T E 289707 N 4781095
Quick Description: This historic mansion, at 666 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607 is noteable in part because it is completely surrounded by modern intrusions into the East Avenue Historic District.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 5/25/2012 10:39:38 AM
Waymark Code: WMEG58
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 1

Long Description:
This house immediately across the street from the Rochester Museum and Science Center (and Planetarium). To the east is a modern apartment complex and to the west is a highrise that has been converted to a commercial storage unit. So, even though there are hunderds of buildings in this historic district of preserved mansions, this is an island of history in a section of the district that had seen systematically dismantled before the preservation era had begun.

The loss of the adjacent mansions is explained in the statement of significance portion of the nomination form for this historic district(p. 21):

"The economic collapse of the 1930's forced the abandonment of many palatial dwellings. Their deterioration encouraged the purchase of the property for new construction, multiple dwellings, or even business purposes. As pressures intensified during the 1940's and the 1950's, only a small portion of the mansions along East Avenue continued as single family homes. Schools, religious societies, business organizations and new housing all altered the use of East Avenue."

We are especially lucky to have this one, built between 1852 and 1854 survive. This is what the nomination form tells us about this particular building:

"is a two story brownstone built by Josiah W. Bissell, a contractor, from remains salvaged from the first Erie Canal aqueduct crossing the Genesee River. With its peaked roofs and large windows it resembles models in Downing's "Country Houses" (underlined in original). Bissell landscaped the spacious gournds with elms and other trees and planted for some distance along East Avenue a double row of horse-chestnuts. Once the home of Vice President Schuyler Colfax, in the 1950's it became the Methodist Home for the Aged." (see brick extension to the rear of the building in photo gallary)
Name of Historic District (as listed on the NRHP): East Avenue Historic District

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

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

666 East Avenue Rochester, NY 14607

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 Bissell House (East Avenue Historic District) - Rochester, NY 6/12/2012 sagefemme visited it