Architectural Styles of the Rochester Area

Enos Stone Cabin.
Enos Stone Cabin
The "Mushroom House".
The "Mushroom House"
Greek Revival
Gothic Revival
Second Empire

Victorian Stick, Folk and Eastlake
Queen Anne
Richardsonian Romanesque
American Foursquare
Colonial Revival
Renaissance Revival
Art Deco


 At the time that people began to settle the Rochester area in the late 1700's, the United States was a new nation. It had just shaken off its colonial English rulers. Many of the people who came to the area were soldiers of the Revolution who wanted a new life and land for their families, or were pioneers from New England. Much time was spent in clearing land and constructing simple structures to live in. These dwellings were mostly in the styles of their former homes in New England.

However, as the new settlers became more prosperous, they began to search for new designs for their homes and businesses. From the 19th to the early 20th centuries, a huge amount of architectural experimentation occurred. Architects looked to other eras, from classical Greece and Rome to the medieval world, and to Renaissance Italy and France. They added their own touches to all these designs, adapting them to the needs of the new industrial society in which they found themselves.

In Rochester and Monroe County many examples of the architectural styles of these periods still remain. However, many more have been lost due to disasters such as fire, urban planning movements of various eras, poor construction techniques, demolition for canals, railroads and highways, and neglect. This is an invitation to explore our architectural heritage and discover the many varieties of domestic and public buildings that remain to delight us.

***Help! I'm looking at a building and it doesn't have any of the styles you mentioned!
Or else it has too many! What do I do now?


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