Thursday, November 1, 2012

This Month in Rochester History

 (Courtesy of Marjorie and the late Walter Dernier)
Half a century ago this month, the eyes of Rochester's citizens were focused on Main Street - specifically upon the southwest corner of Main and University Drive, where stood the aging and forlorn St. James Hotel. After months of legal wrangling with the heirs of Lottie Smith, the widow of hotel proprietor James W. Smith, a consent agreement was reached to allow the village to raze the building.  The struggle had taken up much of the village council members' time, as they contemplated initiating condemnation proceedings in order to see the old building removed.  With the matter settled in court on November 29, 1962, the village was able to proceed with demolition of the hotel in early December 1962. The accompanying photo shows how the building looked just before it was torn down.

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