150-year-old Rochester building demolished after fire

May 25, 2019 11:18 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- A historic building in Rochester's Corn Hill neighborhood has been demolished after a fire.

Rochester firefighters got to 252 Plymouth Avenue around 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning to find heavy smoke clouding the air. 


Firefighters say the roof, floors, and chimney collapsed while they fought the flames causing a serious safety concern leading crews to demolish the building. As it came down, people in the neighborhood came out to see the building for one last time.

Bunnie Kramer has lived in Corn Hill for four years and was disappointed to see the building come down.

"It's a beautiful building turning into a pile of smoky dusty rubble," Kramer said. 

Cynthia Howk, Research Coordinator at the Landmark Society of Western New York says the home was built back in the 1800s.

"For 150 years this had been really one of the very elegant houses on Plymouth Avenue, and it's one of the last of the old buildings standing on the east side of Corn Hill," Howk said.

The building was built for a lawyer back in the 1800s. For the last several years, it has been used as office space for Career Start, a staffing agency. Howk says she doesn't know what's next but it won't compete with 19th-century architecture.

"There's also the possibility that it could be an empty lot or a parking lot," Howk said. "For the neighborhood that's a real loss of the residential character that makes Corn Hill such a popular place."

The building is a part of Rochester's third ward, a neighborhood recognized by the National Park Service for its historic value.

"I'm really glad no people were hurt there and it wasn't somebody's home," Kramer said. "But to lose another one of our historic buildings is really sad."

Firefighters are still working to figure out what caused the fire.


Tim Hansen

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