Rochester Savings Bank

Once located at 47 West Main Street, the main location of the Rochester Savings Bank served the community over the years not only as a financial institution but as a home to many of its fine civic and cultural organizations as well. With its demolition in 1955, the city of Rochester lost one of its great architectural splendors.

The charter for the Rochester Savings Bank was granted in 1831. The first location, a single window housed in the Bank of Rochester on Exchange Street opened on July 1 of that same year. The next day, the bank received its first deposit of $13 from a gentleman by the name of Harmon Taylor. The bank remained at this location until 1842 when it relocated to larger facilities at 47 State Street.

The second location of the Rochester Savings Bank.

Corner of Buffalo and Fitzhugh Streets, 1857.

The thriving bank outgrew this location in little more than a decade. The bank committee authorized the purchase of a lot of land at Buffalo (now West Main Street) and Fitzhugh Streets for $16,000. Construction on this facility began in 1853 and was ready to be occupied in 1857. The original bank building, designed by architect Henry Searle, was three stories high topped by a large dome-shaped roof and extended eighty-three feet on Buffalo Street and sixty-six feet on Fitzhugh Street.

In 1875, reconstruction, enlarging and fireproofing was begun under the supervision of Henry Searle, son of the original architect. A twenty-foot extension was added that ran south on Fitzhugh Street. Another story was added as well as a metal roof, statues and a lantern. Inside the lantern was a large clock. This work was completed in 1877.

After the 1875 reconstruction.

From centennial celebration publication.


Main Banking Room.

Reconstruction of the bank interior was undertaken in 1908/09 bringing the inside up to par with the splendor of the exterior. Using the designs of J. Foster Warner, new offices as well as a new banking room were created.

Rochester Savings Bank.

All together, the new banking room of the Rochester Savings Bank is one of the most commodious and most complete possessed by any savings bank in this country, and, together with the fireproof vaults of high efficiency, amply protected by an approved burglar alarm system, affords every precaution for the safeguarding of the depositors’ property. "“The Rochester Savings Bank, 1831-1911: Its Purpose and History.” p.30

Rochester Savings Bank Building.

The Rochester Savings bank was constantly growing over the years and in 1928 it opened its first branch at 40 Franklin Street. Around this same time, the original branch was being dismantled. By 1933, the top floors and the lanterns were removed. The entire building was razed in 1955 to make way for a new building.

Rochester Savings Bank.

The Rochester Savings Bank at 47 West Main Street as seen with top floors and lanterns removed ca. 1928

"In Rochester One Hundred Years Ago and Now: Centennial of Rochester Savings Bank 1831-1931"
"The Charter and By-Laws of the Rochester Savings Bank," July 1, 1906, Rochester, NY, p. 15.
"Glimpses of Ninety-Odd Years: The Story of a Pioneer Bank."
"The Rochester Savings Bank, 1831-1911: Its Purpose and History."

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