The Phoenix Hotel
4 South Main Street

This three-story step-gable brick hotel is one of Western New York’s most important remaining works of Federal architecture. This well proportioned building features regularly spaced six- over-six windows with cut stone lintels and sills. A recessed arcade of elliptical arches frames the windows and doors at the first floor. A half- round fanlight is located at the gable end. The Federal style entrance with leaded transom and side lights is a reconstruction of the original. The building retains an original ballroom at the third floor with a coved plaster ceiling.

Pittsford was the site of several early inns because of its location on the primary road between Rochester and Canandaigua and because a large stage coach company operated out of the settlement. The Phoenix Hotel was built to replace an earlier hotel which had burned. The structure's relatively large size anticipated the growth in business due to the opening of the Erie Canal. In the 1830s, railroads began to replace the canal as the primary means of passenger transportation. Pittsford's location on a busy rail line continued to provide a steady stream of hotel guests. The Phoenix, later known as the Pittsford Inn, was one of three operating hotels Pittsford retained until the first quarter of the twentieth-century when the rise of the automobile eliminated much of the need for lodging in small towns. Over the next fifty years the building served alternately as a popular restaurant and tavern.

During the 1950's, a new gasoline service station was constructed up against the main facade of the old Phoenix Hotel. As a result, residents started to become concerned about the future of the building and the village. Soon after the construction of the gas station, the building burned and remained vacant for several years.

Although in dilapidated condition, the loss of this building would have irreparably changed Pittsford. Fortunately, at a time when preservation was extremely uncommon in our area, the local newspaper publisher, Andrew Wolfe bought and painstakingly restored the building for use as the offices of his publishing company. The restoration of the Phoenix Building demonstrated that preservation offered a viable alternative to demolition and new construction. Perhaps more importantly it helped the entire community realize the potential it could accomplish through preservation.

Additional pictures for this stop
Phoenix Hotel1

Phoenix Hotel1

Phoenix Hotel2

Phoenix Hotel2

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