Sunday, February 8, 2009

Main Street Stories: 301 S. Main

The building at 301 S. Main which is now the home of the Mind, Body & Spirits restaurant was built by Burnett A. "Barney" Horvitz in the autumn of 1888, and opened for business in March, 1889. B.A. Horvitz was born in Russia in 1859, and emigrated with his family when they fled the persecution of Jews there in 1867. Horvitz came to Rochester in 1880 and went into the dry goods business with his brother, Max. When the Sidney House hotel opened on the southwest corner of Main and Third streets in February 1888, Horvitz had the good business sense to purchase the lot on the opposite corner of Main and Third, directly across from the hotel. The Horvitz dry goods store was apparently successful, but by 1907, the Horvitzes had moved away from Rochester. Over the years, the building at 301 S. Main has housed a number of concerns, the most notable including Sutton's Market (from the early 1930s until 1961), Dants, LaBelle's, and the Country Mouse gift shop, and Alvin's dress shop. The structure survived a major fire on November 16, 1971, which was fueled by a leaking gas meter and seriously damaged the interior. In more recent years, the Horvitz building has housed a series of galleries, boutiques and interior design firms. The Mind, Body & Spirits restaurant opened there in October 2008 after a complete renovation of the building which included the addition of geothermal wells, solar panels and a greenhouse. The B.A. Horvitz building celebrates its 120th birthday this spring.

Photo: The B.A. Horvitz building as it looked about 1897.

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