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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rochester Postcard Project Day 4

5 yrs ago My wife, Juli, and I drove into Rochester for the first time.  We were in a large Ryder truck following my parents to our new home.  We came through downtown on I 490.  As we passed over the Genesee river I glanced at the city skyline.  There were plenty of modern buildings and a smattering of turn of the century ones too but what drew my attention were these 4 giant wings thrust straight up into the sky.  It took me a second to say "Art Deco". 

It is called Times Square.  Not to be confused with the Times Square in New York City.  One of a dozen or so Deco skyscrapers that still exist.  At the time that I drew this that is all I knew.  But, 2 1/2 yrs after moving here I befriended the current owner of that building.  It was fantastic to get a tour of the building from the basement to the roof. 

It was built during the depression.  The Genesee Valley Trust, a bank.  When they where building the basement they had to install the vault door before they layed the first floor since the door was too big and too heavy to do it any other way.  It is still all there.  The current owner is slowly restoring the interior.  Sometime in its life its' grand entrance was cut in half to add a second floor.  That can never be reversed but most everything else is still there intact. 

But, of course, it is the great wings up top that grab the attention.  It is said that the banker had called the architect when they were designing it and told him he wanted to make his building stand out from the crowd.  The Architect was on vacation in the Caribbean when he got the call so while at the beach he picked up some sea shells and played around with them in the sand till he created the configuration we see now.  The architect called them the "Wings Of Progress" and they stand several stories high.

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