Inside Downtown Tour

Washington Square and More!
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Photo courtesy The Rochesteriat (

Photo courtesy The Rochesteriat (

ONLINE TICKETING HAS CLOSED. Tickets will be available for purchase during Tour hours at Tour HQ on Friday and Saturday.

The Inside Downtown Tour opens up urban environments where folks are creating exciting spaces to live and work. We visit re-purposed spaces, renovated homes, lovingly preserved places, and newly built sites that are designed with sensitivity to the overall built environment. Basically, we get you “in” on the latest urban living trends.

New Dates! This year’s tour will take place on Friday evening October 2nd, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and on Saturday October 3rd from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


We’ve wanted to bring Inside Downtown to Washington Square for some time, and have been patiently waiting as more places have been rehabbed in the area. Now is the time, with new residences, work spaces and retail that have opened within the past two years.

The centerpiece is Washington Square Park. The land was donated in 1818 by early settler and real estate mogul Elisha Johnson. He hoped the county courthouse would locate here, and named “Court Street” in anticipation of having the center of the city adjacent to his lands. But Nathaniel Rochester got the courthouse on his side of the river. Now you know why we have a Court Street with no courthouse.

Capron rooftop view 4

The landscaping of the current park was designed by the famed Olmsted firm of landscape architects. You’ve probably driven by it many times; this is your chance to take a closer look at a park named after our 1st president, with a statue featuring our 16th president, and a monument in memory of our 32nd president. If that is not enough, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of the thousands who have gathered here for decades – from listening to Frederick Douglass in 1848 to commemorating the Civil War veterans in 1892 to current day protests and play days (dachshund parade, anyone?)

Some of the sites on the tour:

Capron vertical exterior 3Capron Lofts: Originally a canal warehouse, it now holds 19 coveted condominiums on the canal. In the early 20th century a lithography company produced colorful seed catalogues here. Today it holds 19 coveted condominiums, with much of its industrial past highlighted in this respectful remodeling. Exposed brick, massive wood beams and sliding doors abound, as do other more subtle choices. One of the most prized features is the generous rooftop terrace, offering stunning views of downtown, the Genesee River, and the Frederick-Douglass Bridge.

Burns kitchen 1


Geva Theatre Center: Geva is an exemplary steward of this historic property. The original building was constructed in 1868 as the Naval Armory, and converted to Rochester’s first Convention Hall in 1908. It’s been used as a center for political gatherings (FDR threw his hat into the gubernatorial ring here,) musical performances (from opera star Enrico Caruso to prima ballerina Anna Pavlova) – and baseball! Rochester’s first professional baseball team held their spring training exercises here in 1877, until the weather permitted them to practice outdoors.

Today it serves as the home to our professional theatre, featuring two performance areas. You may have been seated in the audience on your last visit, but during IDT you’ll get to go behind the scenes. You’ll also be among the first to see the newest renovations to the interior, and learn what steps Geva has taken to maintain the historic integrity of this important building.

Artists’ Lofts at Woodbury Place: Where do you live if you come to town to perform in a Geva production? Stay in a motel for 6 weeks? No longer – Artist Lofts are now available a mere 150 steps from the theatre. Part of the former Merkel Donahue building, 11 studio apartments are leased by Geva.

First Universalist Church: With a well-deserved spot on the National Register of Historic Places, this Claude Bragdon designed church was constructed in 1907 with Romanesque Revival influences. One of the most significant designs of this renowned architect, his signature decorative tiles can be found in the sanctuary as well as on the exterior.

IDT Headquarters: Legacy Tower at One Bausch and Lomb Place. Buckingham Properties managing partner Ken Glazer released the following statement when the building was renamed last November: “The name Legacy Tower was selected to collectively pay tribute to Bausch + Lomb’s significant contribution to Rochester’s heritage and growth, as well as to honor Larry and Jane Glazer’s lasting legacy to the downtown Rochester landscape.” We couldn’t think of a better place to have our tour headquarters, as we celebrate the ongoing dynamic revival of our urban landscape.

Legacy Tower Winter Garden

Legacy Tower Winter Garden

View more in this year’s tour guide:


ONLINE TICKETING HAS CLOSED. Tickets will be available for purchase during Tour hours at Tour HQ on Friday and Saturday.

Ticket Pick-Up: Tickets will be available for pick-up at Tour HQ (Legacy Tower at One Bausch and Lomb Place), starting 30 minutes before the Tour opens. That’s beginning at 5:00 PM on Friday and 10:30 AM on Saturday. Tour HQ is not open prior to those times. 

Please note: New this year, tickets for all (members and non-members) will be $30 day-of the Tour. All ticket purchases made after 12:00 AM on Friday, October 2nd on the website, over the phone, or in-person at The Landmark Society offices or at the Tour itself will be $30. 

Friday, October 2nd | 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 3rd | 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Tour Headquarters: Legacy Tower at One Bausch and Lomb Place.

Advance tickets:

  • $22 for Landmark members (purchased directly through Landmark Society only)
  • $25 for non-members (purchased through Landmark or at Parkleigh)

Please note: Tickets will be available for pickup and mailing after September 15th. Tickets will also be available for purchase at Parkleigh after September 15th.

Day-of Tour tickets are $30 for all.

Your tour ticket will be good both Friday evening October 2nd and Saturday during the day of October 3rd . You may visit each tour stop one time, in any order that you desire.

After you purchase your tickets, invite your friends and family to attend the tour too! Use the hashtag #InsideDowntown on social media and tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


Title Sponsor:



Platinum Sponsors:

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Silver Sponsors:

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