Greetings to our visitors and to Brockporters who wish to become better acquainted with their village! Our Historic Commercial District and Historic Landmark homes provide a unique opportunity to catch the spirit of a canal town in the heyday of the “Old Erie” barge canal. Also, you can see how Brockport is developing rapidly as a major port on a revitalized Erie Canal that is becoming one of North America’s prime vacation and recreational facilities. This brochure will guide you through that experience. Enjoy your walk and your stay in Brockport!
This tour consists of five “segments” to be walked in one continuous stroll or by segments.
Segment A - Stops 1-19
- The Erie Canal-Built between 1817 and 1825 and enlarged later several limes, the canal was the first means of mass transportation into the American Midwest and opened that great region to settlement. Brockport was its western terminus for some two years.
- Main Street lift Bridge (1915), +lift tower (1913) – This span and the one a block east are two of only sixteen lift bridges still in operation on the canal. A third span one block to the west is a fixed, high bridge. They were built as part of the last reconstruction of the canal.
- *Brockport’s Historic Commercial District – The 45 commercial buildings on both sides of Main Street from the canal to the State St./Erie St. intersection and on Market Street were designated an historic district by Brockport’s Historic Preservation Board in 1999 and are being nominated by it for listing on the state and national registries of historic places. They form the largest, intact array of Victorian commercial buildings in the area.Walk south on Main Street
- *1 Main Street (1867)-one of the seven toll stations on the Erie Canal was located on the lower floor. Unusual lintels, bracketed cornices, and cast-iron ornamentation and pilasters. Rear and south walls are Medina sandstone. Top floor may have been an auditorium.
- *9-11 Main Street (1886)-Cast-iron pillasters, lintels (including dragons), cornices, and pediment.
- *13-15 Main Street (ca.1834)-Cast-iron columns and stone cornice.
- *21-25 Main Street (ca. 1834)-Bay windows and corbelled, brick cornice. The storefront retains much of its original design.Cross Water Street and continue south on Main Street
- *39-41 Main Street (1871)-Brockport’s most distinctive commercial structure with its contrasting brick and stone wall finishes, cast-iron columns, arched stone lintels, dentiled cornice, stone pilasters, original finials, pointed-arch pediments, third-floor auditorium, and restored “Ivory Soap” sign.Turn left (east) on Market Street
- *5-9 Market Street (1883)-Arched stone lintels, pressed-metal cornice, and curved pediment.
- *11-13 Market Street (1877)-Metal detailing on the staircase doorway, curved decorative stone lintels, and elaborate pressed-metal cornice and pediment.
- *19-25 Market Street (ca. 1881)-Eight original, decorative, cast-iron columns; elaborately-detailed brickwork; cast-iron first-floor cornice; brick and wood second-floor cornice; and “little brother” west wing.
- *27 Market Street (ca. 1881)-Decorative wood lintels and sills with shouldered side moldings and bracketed wood cornice with pointed-arch pediment.
- +38 Market Street (1969)-The main village fire station houses several pieces of antique firefighting equipment.
- +*14 Market Street (ca. 1881)-Extraordinary decorative brick work and arched wood panels under the lintels.Return to Main Street, turn left, and cross Market Street (headed south)
- *43 Main Street (ca. 1861)-little changed from its 19th century appearance. leaded-glass transom window, beautiful stone and brick lintels, paneled knee walls, cast-iron columns with relief detailing, and elaborate, bracketed cornice on two elevations. Interior has pressed-metal ceiling.
- *53-55, *57-59 (both ca. 1861), and *61-65 Main Street (ca. 1840s)-Similar buildings with harmonious variations and a consistent rhythm in the fenestration and detailing. 53-55 has decorative cast-iron pillars and cornice and transom windows. Lintels of 57-59 form continuous stone band. Large wood 3rd floor cornice has elaborately-decorative brackets. 61-65 has large, leaded-glass transoms, remarkable 3rd floor lintels, cast-stone pilasters and knee walls.
- *67-71 Main Street (1916)-The district’s only neo-classical commercial building, with cast-stone pediment, moldings, bases, and Ionic capitals and large, leaded-glass transoms.
- *79 and *83-87 (its big brother) Main Street (ca. 1880s)-1st floor pressed-metal cornices with finials topped by balls. Marble horizontal stringcourses on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Ornamentation features High Victorian motifs.
- *89-93 Main Street (1907)-Since 1916, this building has housed the Strand movie theater, the oldest in the Rochester area. The Streamline Moderne facade, with black Carrara glass, was added in 1946 (Michael J. DeAngelis, architect). A 1930s movie projector is displayed in the lobby.
Segment B - Stops 20-41
- +*#14 State Street (1854)-St Luke’s Episcopal Church, Gothic Revival style in multi-chromatic Medina sandstone with limestone trim, rich collection of stained-glass windows, including at least two signed by Tiffany.
- +18 State Street-The offices of the Village of Brockport and the Town of Sweden.
- *#35 State Street (1852)-First Presbyterian Church, brick Greek Revival-style structure. Quoins, sills, and lintels are dressed sandstone and limestone. Main entrance is flanked by two massive Corinthian columns and topped by a tympanum with elaborate cornice and dentil decoration. Building is surmounted by a three-stage tower and a spire.
- +40 State Street (1866)-Built on terraced land by H. N. Johnston and still owned by his descendants.
- 45 State Street-An original, smaller house, built by Rod Stewart, was enlarged and the balcony and cupola added in 1864.
- *49 State Street (early 1820s)-Seymour Building, built by Pelatiah Rogers, an early village leader, and later the home of William Seymour, brother of James Seymour, co-founder of the village. Seymour, who remodeled the house in the Second Empire style in 1865, was a partner in Seymour and Morgan, manufacturers of the first 100 successful McCormick reapers. His heir, another James Seymour, left the property to the village. It houses the Emily Knapp Local History Museum on the top two floors.
- +52 State Street-This lovely ltalianate has extensive bracketing, an elaborate cupola, and ornate woodwork on the porch.
- +58 State Street (early 1820s)-One of the oldest homes in the village, built for William Seymour.
Cross Park Avenue
- 69 State Street (1828)-Built for Priam Hill and owned later by Horatio Beach, civic leader, newspaper publisher, and consul.
- +80 State Street (1843)-Greek Revival style with pedimentation and pilasters at the front door.
Cross State Street
- 41 Park Avenue (1861)-Built by Myron O. Randall. Unusual cloverleaf attic windows, double-hung front doors, carved wooden eaves brackets and lintels.
- *63 Park Avenue (1840)-Brick Italianate home of Henry Selden, later NYS lieutenant governor and Susan B. Anthony’s lawyer. Unusual eaves and restored porches.
- 67 Park Avenue (1870)-Well-preserved center-gabled barn with original light and lantern.
- *73 Park Avenue (1827)-Greek Revival built by Anson Durand, with six-over-six windows and decorative bracketing.
- 79 Park Avenue (1855)-Simple brick home built by Enos Chappell, with brackets and stone lintels.
- +8O Park Avenue-A pleasing example of a Greek Revival cottage.
- *91 Park Avenue-Asymmetrical Queen Anne, wth dormers and wrap-around porch.
- *101 (1849) and *107 (ca. 1847) Park Avenue-Similar Greek Revival homes, one frame, the other brick. 107 has neo-classical cornice and Doric pilasters at the front door.
- Cross Park Avenue at the triangle, walk north to South Street, turn left on South Street.
- 48 South Street-Italianate residence with interesting bracketing and an ornate iron cupola.
- 42 South Street-Clapboard home of mixed style with a unique, arched dormer and Greek columns.
Walk to Main Street
- +*#151 Main Street (1854)-Built by John Ostrom, a retired farmer, home of the Dayton S. Morgan family, 1864-1964. Morgan was a cousin of J. P. Morgan, nephew of the man for whom Dayton, Ohio, was named, and a partner in Seymour and Morgan. The D. S. Morgan Building, first large, steel-framed structure in Buffalo, was built with funds from his estate. Since 1964, home of the Western Monroe Historical Society and its small museum.
- +152 Main Street (1926)-Church of the Nativity (Catholic), English Renaissance style.
Segment C - Stops 42-47
- *237 South Main Street (1904)-Capen Hose Co. oldest fire station in the area in continuous use. Firefighting museum has 1847 hand-pumper, 1876 steamer, and 1936 Seagrave pumper.
- *291 South Main Street (1913)-Restrained Queen Anne style, leaded-glass panels flank front door, distinctive latticework on railings of wrap-around front porch
- *299 South Main Street (1831)-Pioneer settler Edward Parks farmed here from 1808 and built this large brick home, which remained in his family until l909. Later owners included artist Bertha Coleman and Monroe County School Superintendent Fred W. Hill.
- *307 South Main Street (1888)-Distinctive cupola on facade.
Continue south to Hillcrest Terrace, cross Main Street, and turn right (north)
- *320 South Main Street (1890)-Clapboard Queen Anne housing Victorian Bed-and-Breakfast. Recent addition consistent with original style.
Continue north, passing under railroad bridge
- 186 Main Street (1904)-Webster Funeral Home, built by Edgar Maynard and John Wadsworth with architect J. Mills. Corner pilasters with full height portico and four columns with Corinthian capitals, palladian-style front door.
Segment D - Stops 48-61
- 172 Main Street (1890)–Roxbury Inn, built by Colonel Richard Cutts Shannon, Civil War officer who served at Gettysburg and minister to two South American countries. The most notable surviving archilectural feature is the massive tile roof.
- +25 College Street-Historical marker on parking. This house and the one next door east formed the “Brown Coltage” of Mary Jane Holmes, whose 50+ novels brought popular literature to late 19th century American women. Her husband, Daniel, was a prominent local lawyer, civic leader, and member of the Brockport Normal School council for 50 years.
- +*39 College Street (ca. 1870)-Victorian ltalianate style, with off-center cupola and centered oculus window, decorative details on cupola and corbels, large carriage house, deeply curved arch over front door.
- 40 College Street (ca. 1850s)-Greek Revival style, built by Hiel Brockway, co-founder of Brockport, the Blue Pitcher Tea Room, 1917-36.
- *46 College Street (1907)-Four-square, arts-and-crafts style popularized by Elbert Hubbard, large wrap-around porch, leaded-glass windows, flank front door and in center of 2nd floor facade, property owned at various times by leading Brockport families.
- 56 College Street-Red brick ltalianate, with corner tower and distinctive stone quoins and lintels, built by L. T. Underhill, leading local lumber dealer and builder. Mansard roof added later.
Continue west to Utica Street
- +*75 College Street (ca. 1860)-Second empire style with intricate woodwork and mansard roof, built by Edward Harrison, merchant and civic leader, sold to Brockport Normal School by his daughter (1898) and used as the principal’s and, later, president’s residence, transferred to Brockport Alumni Assn. (mid-1980s), extensively restored by it.
- +Hartwell Hall (1941)-Neo-Georgian academic structure, oldest building on SUNY Brockport campus. Historical marker at flagpole. Site of institution of higher education since 1834. Recently renovated as $15 million project that respected its historic architecture.
Turn right and walk north on Utica Street to Monroe Avenue
- *61 Monroe Avenue cor. Utica (1861)-Methodist parsonage for ca. 125 years.
Continue north on Utica Street to Holley Street
- +*34 Utica Street (late 1820s)(one block north of Holley Street, northwest corner)-Wood frame residence, built by Hiel Brockway and owned by his lamily until 1902. Brockway was co-founder of Brockport, the world’s largest builder of canal packet boats, and the owner of a brickyard and packetline between Rochester and Buffalo.
- Holley Street-The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, founded 1876. North wing was built in 1854 as a church. South wing was built in 1915.
Turn right and walk east on Holley Street
- 45 Holley Street (ca. 1860)-Modified carpenter Gothic style with restrained use of decorative woodwork of Egyptian influence.
- 17 Holley Street (1832)-Built by Brockway and later owned by William Seymour, porch added in 1872.
- +124 Main Street (1863)-First Baptist Church, unusual assymetrical towers.
Segment E - Stops 62-71
- +92 Main Street (1876)-United Methodist Church, Romanesque Revival style with asymmetrical towers (one with functioning 1914 clock) and rich architectural detailing that combines brick and stone, round, compound arches over front dcors, wonderful corbelled brick work and stained-glass windows. Andrew Jackson Warner was the architect and Wilkinson of Honeoye Falls the builder.
Cross Erie Street and continue north on Main Street
- *84-88 Main Street (ca. 1870)-Brick structure has cast-iron storefront with relief panels and foliate detailing, decorative stone lintels, and elaborate, projecting, bracketed cornice.
- *82 Main Street (ca. 1861)-Casement facade windows, projecting wood cornices, and cast-iron columns.
- *78 Main Street (ca. 1850)-Very unusual facade with stepped cornice, double doors, and balcony that are unique in the county and were restored by the present owners.
- *66 Main Street (1927)-Neo-classical style, limestone and brick construction, facade features four stone pilasters with composite capitals, large arched door opening, and cast copper door casing, transom, sidelights, and hanging light fixture. Stone detailing shows subtle sophistication.
Cross King Street and continue north on Main Street
- *62-64 Main Street (ca. 1850)-Brick construction with stone lintels and sills on upper floors and large, pressed-metal cornice. Ground floor modernized in 1960s. The Lester family has owned the building since the 1880s.
- *60 Main Street (ca. 1880)-Beautiful arched cast-iron lintels with keystones and elaborately-detailed cornices. One of the many awnings on Main Street.
- *56-58 Main Street (ca. 1870s)-Cast-iron columns with decorative capitals, 1st floor cast-iron cornice, simple stone lintels and sills on upper floors, wide pressed-metal cornice. Interior has pressed-metal ceiling.
- *32 (ca. 1834), *26-28 (ca. 1834) and *22-24 Main Street (ca. 182Os)-Three of the oldest structures in the village, with rare surviving, original cut-stone storefronts. 22-24 has seven columns with bush-hammered, stippled central panels. Its third floor has tall windows with round-arched, brick lintels and a large decorative wood cornice. A barber shop has occupied 24 since at least 1875. Some interiors have pressed-metal walls and ceilings.
Cross Clinton Street and continue north on Main Street
- *14 Main Street (1940)-Main Brockport post office, brick walls, stone detailing, and cast concrete foundation in “streamlined Georgian” style by Louis A. Simon, supervising architect. Interior lobby retains most of its original brass and wood design features.
Continue north on Main Street to the lift bridge and cross Main Street to the starting point
They may be combined as follows: ABCDE (75 minutes) AE (25 minutes), ABE (40 minutes), ABDE (48 minutes), ACDE (55 minutes), or ABCE (65 minutes). Incorporated in the guide are directions for going from one segment to another.
Begin at the south abutment of the canal bridge, east side of Main Street (Jimmy Mac’s restaurant).
+ View from across the street
* Officially designated historic landmark
# Listed on state and national registries or historic places
This publication has been financed in part with federal funds from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute recommendation or endorsement by the Department of the Interior. The funds have been administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
Text and photos by William G. Andrews, Village Historian, with thanks to Cynthia Howke, Kathy Goetz, Harriet Sisson, Eunice Chesnut, Gary Skoog, and Fletcher Garlock. Published by the Village of Brockport, 49 State St., Brockport, NY 14420, 585-637-5300. Public restrooms are available at the Brockport Village Police station, 1 Clinton Street.
Historic Brockport structures not included in the walking tour:
- *A. D. Oliver Middle School (1934), 40 Allen Street
- *Watts residence (ca. 1840), 46 King Street
- *SUNY college president’s home (ca. 1830s) 230 Holley Street