Sunday, December 6, 2009

Main Street Stories: George Burr Building

The building at 429 S. Main is the only older building in the downtown business district that has had only two retail occupants in its entire history. Hardware and implement dealer George Burr built the store in 1914, after he had outgrown his previous location across the street at 418 S. Main. George Burr was the brother of fellow Rochester merchants Charles A. Burr, builder of the Opera House block at 4th and Main, and Frank H. Burr, who built a two-store block to the immediate south of the Opera House block.

In 1920, George Burr retired from the business he had founded and passed the management of the store to his daughter, Neva, and her husband, Ward Crissman. When Ward Crissman died suddenly in 1935, Neva Crissman brought her own daughter, Arlene, and son-in-law Leon Robertson into the business, and they continued to manage it until they decided to close the hardware store and sell the building in June of 1965.

On August 30, 1965, the grand opening of Green's Artist Supply was held, introducing to Rochester residents only the second business ever located in the building. Forty-four years later, Green's still occupies the building erected by George Burr in 1914.

The George Burr building celebrated its 95th birthday this year.

This ca. 1961 photo from the collection of Marjorie and the late Walter Dernier shows the building at 429 S. Main while it was still occupied by the Burr Hardware.

1 comment:

  1. How did Ward die? and when did Neva move from Rochester?