Downtown Rochester sits on the site of the original village of Rochesterville. Rochesterville was situated at the intersection of present-day Main and State Streets. This intersection is now known as the "Four Corners". Land on the east side of the Genesee River was annexed in 1823, and the city grew along both sides of the river. When the Erie Canal was built through Rochester in 1823, the city became an industrial hub because of ample water power for milling, and Rochester boomed. Rochester became known as the "Young Lion of the West". Rochester also became known as "Flour City" because of the booming flour trade. By the 1850s, flower seeds had become a big industry in the Downtown area, and the city became known as "Flower City". As Rochester continued to grow, several companies were started in Downtown, such as Western Union and Xerox, and Downtown became the home of the corporate headquarters for most of Rochester's big companies.
The Hochstein Music School, on Plymouth Avenue at Church Street.
Buildings on State Street at Andrews Street.
The Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial. The arena, built in 1955, is on Exchangee Boulevard, along the Genesee River. The arena is home to the American Hockey League's Rochester Americans, as well as the Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League.
Buildings on the Genesee River. First Federal Plaza, built in 1976, is on the right.
Times Square Building at Broad Street & Exchange Boulevard. The Times Square Building was built in 1930 and originally housed the Genesee Valey Trust.
Looking up at the Times Square Building. On the top of the building are 42-foot high aluminum wings.
The Powers Building, on Main Street at State Street. The structure was built in 1869. Additions were built on top in 1874, 1880, 1888, and 1891, to keep the building as Rochester's tallest.
Reynolds Arcade, built in 1933 on the site of the previous Reynolds Arcade on Main Street. The original Reynolds Arcade was a substantial commercial building that was a hub in Rochester, and was the place that companies like Western Union and Bausch & Lomb started.
The Executive Building, on Main Street. The Executive Building was built in 1890.
The Executive Building, on Main Street at Fitzhugh Street. The Powers Building is on the right.
Sts. Luke & Simon of Syrene Episcopal Church on Fitzhugh Street.
The Monroe County Civic Center's Hall of Justice, on Exchange Boulevard. The Hall of Justice was built in 1961 and is the seat of Monroe County.
The Monroe County Civic Center, on Exchange Boulevard.
Civic Center Plaza, the center of the Monroe County Civic Center, located between Plymouth Avenue and Exchange Boulevard.
Looking across the Genesee River from War Memorial Park at the Rundel Memorial Building. The building was completed in 1936 on top of the Johnson & Seymour Millrace. On the left is the Broad Street Bridge, which covers the Erie Canal aqueduct. The aqueduct was built in 1842, and is the only place were the Erie Canal and accompanying towpath went over a river. The aqueduct was abandoned in 1920 and was used from the 1920s to the 1950s for Rochester's subway system.
Looking north down the Genesee River from the Broad Street Bridge. First Federal Plaza is on the left.
Buildings on the western bank of the Genesee River. First Federal Plaza, which stands at 309 feet tall, is on the right. The Kodak Tower can be seen in the distance.
Bausch & Lomb Place, from Broad Street. The structure was built in 1995.
Looking north up Stone Street. The Chase Tower, at One Chase Center, with its widening bottom, is on the right. The Alliance Building is in the center.
Looking up at One Chase Center. The Chase Tower was built in 1973 and is 392 feet tall.
Looking east up Main Street from the Alliance Building. The Sibley Centre, built in 1905, is on the right, and the Liberty Pole is beyond the Sibley Centre.
Looking west down Main Street. The Granite Building, built in 1890, is in the center.
St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, on South Street. The parish was founded in 1834 and the church was built in around 1859.
The Soldiers & Sailors Monument in Washington Square. A statue of Abraham Lincoln graces the top of the monument to Civil War veterans.
First Universalist Church, on Clinton Avenue. The church was built in 1908.
The Xerox Tower, Rochester's tallest building at 443 feet, on Court Street at Clinton Avenue. The tower was built in 1968.
The Geva Theatre Center, on Woodbury Boulevard. The building was constructed in 1871 as an armory, and was converted into a convention center in 1907. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft held campaign rallies at the convention center. The building was turned into a theater by the Geva Theater Company in 1984.
One HSBC Plaza, in between Court & Broad Streets at Chestnut Street. The structure was built in 1970 and is 284 feet tall.
Eastman Theatre, on Main Street at Gibbs Street. The Eastman Theatre was built in 1922 as a movie theater, and in 1930 became a concert hall and the home of the Rochester Philharmonic.
The old Rochester Savings Bank building, on Franklin Street at Liberty Pole Way. The building was built in 1929 and is now the Charter One Bank.
Schiller Park, on Andrews Street. The park was originally called "Franklin Square", but was renamed for German poet Frederich Schiller. A statue of Schiller is in the center of the park.
High Falls is a neighborhood north of the Inner Loop, on the west bank of the Genesee River as it tumbles over High Falls. Because of the drop in elevation, the area was perfect for mills, and they took advantage by building a race and using it to power waterwheels. The High Falls area quickly became an industrial center and lead Rochester to become the nation's first boomtown. The city attempted to make the High Falls area an entertainment district in recent years, but the attempt failed, and so the shift is now towards providing housing.
The Kodak Office Tower, on State Street. The tower is the headquarters for the company, and is surrounded by company factories. The structure was built in 1914 and is 360 feet tall.
The High Falls Business Center, on Mill Street.
An old building on Mill Street.
A restaurant in the Phoenix Mill Building on Platt Street at Brown's Race. The mill was built in 1818.
Buildings on Brown's Race. The Rochester Waterworks, built in 1873, is on the left. The Center at High Falls is in the center. The Brown's Race Market is on the right.
Looking at the remainder of Brown's Race from the Brown's Race Market. Brown's Race was constructed in 1815, was originally 1,221 feet long, and provided power to the mills working along the gorge. Many of the mills along the race produced flour, which earned Rochester the nickname, "Flour City". Brown's Race was used until around 1927.
The Triphammer Forge site, built in 1816 on the street that is now Brown's Race. The Triphammer Forge was originally used by the William Cobb Scythe & Tool Company. The mill had two large triphammers, which were powered by the waterwheel and forged iron goods.
The old Selye Fire Engine Company building's east wall, along Brown's Race.
The Rack House, on Brown's Race at Commercial Street. The Rack House i part of a hydroelectric station that uses a section of Brown's Race that is still in use.
The Gorsline Building, at the foot of Commercial Street, and overlooking High Falls. The Gorsline Building was built in 1888 as a shoe factory. Portions of older buildings have been turned into an observation deck.
The High Falls Building, at Commercial Street & Brown's Race. The structure was built in 1880 for a window drape company. The High Falls Studios, built in 1881 for the J.K. Hunt Paper Box Manufacturing Company, is on the left at Mill & Commercial Streets.
The Saddle Ridge entertainment complex, on Commercial Street. The building was completed in the 1890s as a powerhouse for the New York Railway Company.
An old sign on the Selye Fire Engine Company building, advertising Parazin Corporation. The smokestack for the Rochester Gas & Electric Company is in the background.
A small building on Mill Street.
The Selye Fire Engine Company building, also known as the Parazin Building. The factory was built in 1826.
Buildings on Mill Street.
A warehouse on Mill Street, built in 1851 and used for producing barrel-making machinery.
The Kodak Tower from Platt Street. The Kodak Tower orignally had a flat top, but three more stories and a cupola were added in 1930.
The Rochester Plumbing Supply building, on Mill Street at Factory Street.
The old Rochester Button Company building, at State & Platt Streets. The factory was built in 1900.
Frontier Field, home of the AAA International League's Rochester Red Wings. The stadium, on Morrie Silver Way, was built in 1996 and the first season of baseball was in the Summer of 1997.
Buildings on State Street.
Rows of old storefronts on State Street.
Stores and businesses on State Street.
High Falls, one of a couple prominent waterfalls in the city of Rochester. High Falls is 96 feet high.
Looking at the Gorsline Building and adjacent foundations from the Pont De Rennes Bridge. Downtown is in the background.
Old mills and factories along the gorge walls, seen from the Pont De Rennes Bridge.
High Falls from the Pont De Rennes Bridge. Downtown is in the background.
High Falls is the site of the death of Sam Patch, considered the first great American daredevil. Patch was the first person to successfully jump into Niagara Falls, but he did not survive a jump from a 25-foot platform above the edge fo the falls.
The gorge below High Falls, formed by the flow of the Genesee River. High Falls was originally called "Upper Falls". Lower Falls is about one mile downstream on the Genesee River.