Last week, Rochester Senator Joe Robach joined with his colleagues from the City of Rochester and other levels of government to help cut the ribbon on the renovated Rochester Academy Building at 13 South Fitzhugh Street in Downtown Rochester. Senator Robach was instrumental in working to help advocate for a 800k dollar grant from New York State to ensure this is important project received the funding needed.

George Traikos, of the Traikos Group, undertook this major, $7 million transformation of the historic Academy Building. The building will be has been commissioned into service as a mix of retail and residential space. It has 21 market-rate apartments ranging from one to three-bedroom units, Traikos says. The apartments, which start on the second floor, have been custom-designed to take advantage of some of the building’s unusual original features — 18-foot-high ceilings, crown molding (even in the hallways and stairwells), and in some instances, stained-glass windows. Each unit will have a washer and dryer, a powder room, tiled bathrooms, and wood floors.

The Academy Building has been prominently featured in numerous books and articles covering Rochester’s history. The building has had several incarnations: the city’s first high school, a municipal court, and home to the Rochester school board. With its pointed windows and doors and steep roofline, Rochester’s Free Academy Building is one of the city’s best examples of High Victorian Gothic architecture. The style is reminiscent of medieval European churches and castles. Instead of using paint to create color variations, different shades of building materials were used to give the style a polychrome look.

With the revival of the Academy Building, Rochester Downtown is beginning a regrowth that will help to ensure its’ future and Senator Joe Robach is proud to work towards that goal.