Sunday, December 27, 2015


Despite some bumps and bruises, and despite a healthy dose of pessimism, Rochester still maintains a passionate fan base.  The obvious draw to the region is a relatively hassle-free life normally associated with a small city combined with a culturally rich life normally associated with a booming metropolis.  In many cases, the offerings of Rochester may not be immediately apparent or heavily advertised.  Yet in Rochester's usual understated manner, a small amount of exploration can lead to remarkable discovery.  A perfect example is the local architecture.  Numerous American architectural styles can be found, often in remarkable proximity to one another.  And while Buffalo has been more of an architectural destination, Rochester holds its own, even when it comes to the big names.  Here are a few examples:

  • The Powers Building in downtown Rochester was designed by Andrew Jackson Warner.  Warner, a noted architect in his own right, served as the supervisory architect for Buffalo's Richardson Olmsted Complex, designed by H.H. Richardson (think Richardsonian Romanesque.)
  • Frank Lloyd Wright graced Rochester with his work in the form of the Edward E. Boynton House.  Unlike most of his other gems, the house remains a private, single-family residence today.
  • The First Unitarian Church of Rochester was designed by none other than Louis Kahn, whose work includes must-see architectural treasures such as the Salk Institute in La Jolla (San Diego.)
  • Rochester's third tallest building, a relatively unique structure called The Metropolitan (formerly Chase Tower), was designed by John Graham & Company, best known for designing the Space Needle in Seattle.
  • As noted previously, landscape architecture in Rochester is the real deal.  Famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed multiple local parks including Highland Park, Genesee Valley Park, Seneca Park, and Maplewood Park.


  1. Wilson Commons at the University of Rochester was designed by I.M. Pei.