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George Eastman Birthplace
George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company, spent his early youth in and around this one-and-a-half story Greek Revival dwelling on Stafford Avenue in Waterville, NY. Eastmans parents bought this House in 1849. In 1860 Eastman's father, who had been a nurseryman in Waterville, moved the family to Rochester, where he founded a business school. At the death of the elder Eastman, young George and his mother lived for a time on Livingston Park (near the residence of Dr. Frederick Backus in the house now facing the Genesee Country Village square), where the widow Eastman took in boarders. They lived in various other Rochester homes until George Eastmans East Avenue mansion was completed in 1905. Apparently though, his childhood home remained fond in his memories because part of the fašade of Eastmans mansion, designed especially for him, is very similar to his Waterville home.
The main block of the George Eastman Birthplace is a clear and compact translation of the Greek temple idiom into the American vernacular. The essential elements of temple architecture -- the post,the lintel, and the pediment -- are here scaled down and rendered in wood. The broad porch is the podium of the temple; four fluted Doric columns carry the wide entablature (horizontal bands above the columns), which is capped with a fully developed pediment.
In 1954 this house was moved from Waterville to the George Eastman House gardens on East Avenue in Rochester. In 1979 it was moved to the Genesee Country Village and Museum where it is open to the public. Note: none of the furnishings in the Eastman Birthplace were the Eastmans', but have been selected corresponding to the comfortable circumstances the family enjoyed in Waterville.
The house from Waterville, NY
The George Eastman House on East Avenue
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