Building Name: Rochester Button Factory

State Street near Platt. State Street near Platt

Street Address: 298-300 State Street

Present Use (2003): Empire Brewing Company and office space

Building Information

Interior, Empire Brew Co.

A brewmaster for the Empire Brewing company next to one of the tanks used in the microbrewery.

Date Built: 1904. Completely renovated and updated in 1995 (all modern electrical)

Original Owner: M.B. Shantz & Company (renamed Rochester Button Company)

Original Use: Button Factory. The company traces its roots back to 1887 when Moses B. Shantz established the button-making firm of M.B. Shantz and Co. and was supposedly the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of buttons. The buttons were made of vegetable ivory, milk curd and plastic. The company merged with Capital Plastics in 1964 to from Cap-Roc Incorporated. They were bought out by Duplan Corp. of New York City in 1968, but this factory remained a division of the corporation until production was ended in 1990.


Rochester Button Company converted to restaurant use. The former Rochester Button Factory, now occupied by the Empire Brew Company.

Size: 135,000 s.f.

Design and Style: Industrial

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