Inside Downtown Tour

St. Paul Quarter and More!

Friday, September 30, 2016 – 5:30- to 8:30 PM
Saturday, October 1, 2016 -11 AM to 4 PM

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2016 Inside Downtown Tour Tickets


UPDATE: Online ticket sales have ended. A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at tour headquarters (Salem United Church of Christ, 60 Bittner Street) on Friday starting at 5 PM and Saturday starting at 10:30 AM, until sold out.

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 September 30th, from 5:30 to 8:30 PM and on Saturday October 1st from 11 AM to 4 PM.


See the latest urban living trends on The Landmark Society’s 2016 Inside Downtown Tour.


This Fall we’re focusing on the St. Paul Quarter, but really making it a “fat quarter.” You may know that’s a quilting term for a piece of fabric wider than a normal straight quarter of a yard of fabric. Our tour will be on the ‘”fat” side, as we incorporate a few spectacular stops outside of the traditional Quarter boundaries, within walking distance. What better way to define a tour in Rochester’s former garment district?

In the early 1800s, St. Paul Street was lined with single-family homes. By the late 19th century it was an industrial neighborhood, with factory buildings and offices for garment and shoe manufacturers, as well as other trades. The garment industry was one of the biggest employers in Rochester, and by the 1890’s we were the fourth largest manufacturer of men’s clothing in the country.

Today, the features constructed for practical factory needs are appreciated in a whole new way. Wide arched windows to admit natural light onto the factory floor now provide residents unparalleled views day and night. Interior cast iron support columns give unique architectural accents to apartments. Brick walls left unpainted in the work rooms are now valued for their rich patina in the living rooms. You’ll have the chance to judge for yourself, as generous tenants open their doors to you.

Some of the sites on the tour:

Get a peek inside Hive@155 on this year's Inside Downtown Tour.

Get a peek inside Hive@155, downtown’s newest living space, on this year’s Inside Downtown Tour.

Hive@155:  The newest downtown living space is opening for our tour! Tenants are moving in this summer. Built in the 1880s and originally housing garment factories and other light industry, the place has been transformed as the latest addition to “Hive Village,” joining the Hive@116 and the Hive on Andrews. You’ll be the first to see the open loft studio apartments with rental rates aimed at a younger demographic. Features include original architectural details, doorman service and high speed internet. What’s the “hive” about? As the center of the densest residential area in downtown, alongside dining and business establishments, it reflects the liveliness of a true urban neighborhood. And you can’t miss its lively, colorful exterior!

The Forman Building:  With its brick pilasters, dentil cornice, and cast-stone trim, 116 St. Paul Street displays hints of Beaux Arts style architecture. The three-story, brick building was constructed in 1914 and from 1937 to 1999; it was Harry Forman’s Clothing Store, which sold men’s clothing at this site for 62 years. Two lofts, including a spectacular 4,000 square foot penthouse, and an urban pocket garden will be open for tour goers.

The H. H. Warner Building:  Built in 1884, and designed by Louis P. Rogers of New York City, the H. H. Warner building is a monument to the success of its creator. The seven story building contained all of the operations of Warner’s Patent Medicine business. These floors provided for the administrative offices, shipping, advertising, publishing, mass mailing, and production facilities of Warner’s “snake oil” medicinal empire. After the fall of the Warner Company, the building has served as offices and storage, and remained mostly vacant until 2009 when Mark IV Enterprises developed the entire top six floors into residential condos. Three apartments plus an art studio will be open, giving you an appreciation for the diverse layouts of the living spaces.

An urban garden will be one of the stops on this year’s Inside Downtown Tour.

Smith Gormly Building:  Most 19th-century industrial buildings lack the architectural details present on the Smith Gormly Building at 180 St. Paul Street. It was built in the final years of the 1880s for the preeminent clothing manufacturer in Rochester, Stein Bloch Clothing Company, which occupied the building through the 1920s. In 1934, the building was sold to Smith Gormly Company, Inc., another clothing manufactory Here you’ll tour Pike Stained Glass Studios. Third generation owner and director Valerie O’Hara and her staff create and repair stained and leaded glass windows in a 4,000-square-foot studio, naturally lighted by large, clear windows on three sides of the space. The studio was founded by William Pike, O’Hara’s great uncle, who moved here in 1908 after working for Louis Comfort Tiffany Studios in New York City. You will see stained-glass windows in all stages of design and production.

Our Lady of Victory and St. Joseph Church:  A rare, unique example of the French Renaissance architectural style. The parish, formed by French Catholics from Belgium and France in 1848, commissioned famed local architect A. J. Warner to create this church reminiscent of those they had left behind in their homelands. Completed in 1868, it was the first church consecrated under the new Rochester Catholic Diocese, and has remained as a stronghold in the neighborhood throughout years of great change.

St. Joseph’s Park:  The Landmark Society’s YUPs (Young Urban Preservationists) are planning some interesting activities in this magical urban park, located within the walls of the former St. Joseph Church.

Check out the great kitchen spaces in some of the stops on this year's Inside Downtown Tour.

Check out the great kitchen spaces in some of the stops on this year’s Inside Downtown Tour.

Inside DowntownTour Headquarters: Salem United Church of Christ at 60 Bittner Street. A tour stop in its own right, this 1874 Romanesque Revival church has a magnificent sanctuary, with exceptional stained glass, decorative plaster and more.

Tour Parking: Available on street, in parking garage adjacent to the Sibley’s complex, and in the Cook Iron Store lot on Andrews near St. Paul.

View more in this year’s tour guide, which will be available as an insert in City Newspaper and at tour headquarters.


Your tour ticket will be good both Friday evening September 30 and Saturday, October1 during the day. You may visit each tour stop one time, in any order that you desire.

Inside Downtown Tour Tickets are available online at and will be at Parkleigh by September 10th.

Tickets may be purchased at The Landmark Society online or by phone at (585)546-7029 x11. Until 11 AM on Friday, September 30.

On the days of the tour, tickets will be $30 for all, at tour headquarters, Salem United Church of Christ at 60 Bittner Street.

Please note: Tickets will be available to purchase at Parkleigh after September 10. Tickets ordered online or by phone at The Landmark Society can be picked up at The Landmark Society offices,133 South Fitzhugh Street, until noon on Friday, September 30 or can be picked up at tour headquarters starting at 5 PM on Friday and 10:30 AM on Saturday.

UPDATE: Online ticket sales have ended. A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at tour headquarters (Salem United Church of Christ, 60 Bittner Street) on Friday starting at 5 PM and Saturday starting at 10:30 AM, until sold out.

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.

See how folks are creating exciting places to live and work during this year's Inside Downtown Tour.

See how folks are creating exciting places to live and work during this year’s Inside Downtown Tour.


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