Sunday, July 20, 2014

At Home in Rochester: The Van Hoosen - Case House

This historic house at 522 Oak Street, near the Rochester Municipal Building, is 126 years old this year, and is connected to one of the most prominent families in Rochester's history.

When John Van Hoosen built the house in 1888, his property stretched over 4 lots from Oak Street all the way to Pine Street, and fronted on Paint Creek.  In the days before it was re-routed, Paint Creek ran much closer to the foot of Oak Street than it does today, meaning that the lot on which this house stands was once highly-desirable riverfront property.

John Van Hoosen and his wife Mary built the house as their family home, but the couple divorced in 1894 and sold the property to Charles Wallace Case, a young man who was working as a clerk in his uncle Harvey Taylor's hardware store on Main Street.  C. W. Case bought out his uncle a few years later and established the C. W. Case Hardware store that was a landmark on Main Street for almost seven decades.

Meanwhile, the Case family occupied this house on Oak Street until Charles Case's death in 1944.  Case raised purebred poultry on the property, for which he won many awards and medals in poultry shows nationwide.  Several additions have been made to the house over the years and it has been remodeled as a multi-family dwelling, but many of the original exterior details of the house that are visible in an 1897 photo of the building can still be seen today, well over a century later.

The Van Hoosen - Case House is one of Rochester's historic gems.

UPDATE: This house was demolished in fall 2014.

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