4 South Main Street
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.
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