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David Mohney, 2010

David Mohney, 2010

Xerox Square is about to have a new owner. Buckingham Properties is buying the landmark property, which houses operations for 1,400 workers. For now, Xerox is the only tenant in the building. Buckinghman Properties will makeover Xerox’s neighbor, Midtown Tower, in the coming months.

Xerox Square was built in the mid-1960s on the former site of Loew’s Theater. At 443 feet and 30 stories, it remains the tallest building in Rochester. At the time it was built, it was the tallest building made of exposed garnet aggregate concrete. Soon after it was completed, Xerox moved its headquarters to Stamford, Connecticut.

According to Concrete Repair Bulletin, the building was damaged in a mild 1998 earthquake. Concrete fell from the third floor, revealing deterioration and extensive “honeycombs” that allowed moisture and corrosion. The facade was repaired between 2002 and 2005, requiring 100,000 man hours. It was a challenge to match the aesthetics of the concrete finish.

XeroxXerox Square had been for sale since 2009. The purchase by Buckingham and commitment to keep employees there is a good thing. The Bausch + Lomb building downtown is still for sale. Chase recently invested millions of dollars to renovate its high rise. The HSBC building appears to be in flux, as the bank has pulled out of many operations.

Xerox Square is an important part of the Rochester skyline. I’ve appreciated it more as time goes by. It’s stark and elegant. Some days it looks gray. Other days it looks black. Rochester really does have a cool skyline, doesn’t it? No other Upstate city has a cluster of such easily identifiable tall buildings, indicating you’re home.



Links of the Day:

– Federal authorities are trying to figure out how a child rape and murder suspect deactivated his ankle monitor.

An assembly proposal would expand bottle deposits.

The YNN rebranding effort is a giant marketing fail.

An Auschwitz survivor is trying to find his twin.


Brookings Institution maps migration from 2010-2012. New York is a big loser.

Brookings Institution maps migration from 2010-2012. New York is a big loser.

8 Responses to Rochester’s Tallest Building

  1. On page 8 of this PDF is an article I wrote on the design and engineering of Xerox, Chase and HSBC for Docomomo NY-Tri State. http://docomomo-nytri.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/NY-Tri-State-Newsletter-2012-no.-2rev.pdf

  2. March 16, 2013 at 1:23 pm James Simons responds:

    I am very glad to see this building bought by good hands. It is comforting to know that Buckingham will take care of this underappreciated gem of the Rochester skyline. I too have always loved our skyline. I would love to see a 500-footer added or go for broke and make it 600 ft and the tallest building in upstate. Perhaps somewhere on the west side to balance it out a bit more.

  3. There are only a few developers with the guts, strength and experience that can handle a project like this, Buckingham being one of them. They’re like King Midas! You’ll see……

  4. March 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm Sean A. Flesch responds:

    I’m not sure what other properties Buckingham owns that Rich and James are referring to, but they have done a really poor job with St. Joseph’s Garage.

    People smoke inside the garage by the multiple “No smoking” signs at the two main entrances to the Sibley building all the time. The pay machines work poorly, one of the doors to Sibley has been broken for months. Finally, when the outer gates are closed, make sure you go out the right one or it will come crashing down on your car.

  5. March 16, 2013 at 9:52 pm Orielly responds:

    Of course the hidden issue, NOT REPORTED, with all this praise for Buckingham and how pretty the ROCH skyline is, …is that THEE two major buildings downtown have been for sale for years before one was sold. And under DEM leadership downtown with the ON GOING MIDTOWN debacle, the failure of REN and MCC’s move to Kodak, and there’s more, these former Headquarter buildings are impossible to sell.

    Think of it another way, had there been a well run downtown, these buildings would have been sold a long time ago.. or even better perhaps neither Xerox or B&L would be selling.

    And in the case of Xerox, over the last 8yrs they have outsourced 1000s of high paying jobs from Rochester to India and the far east, drastically reducing their skilled engineering work force in Webster, With this sale of the Tower –“the new Xerox” —are in a far better position than ever before to leave Rochester all together.

    That said, yea the skyline is pretty.

    • O boy. I remembered Ren Square.

    • March 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm sflesch responds:

      While I disagree with some Democratic decisions (Ren Square the big one), Kodak, Xerox & B & L have all had huge declines in employment. Blaming them for buildings not selling is a huge stretch. Who would you like to buy these buildings that formerly three of our large employers own?

  6. March 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm Joe in Spencerport responds:

    “The HSBC building appears to be in flux, as the bank has pulled out of many operations.”

    I guess laundering drug cartel money isn’t so lucrative these days.

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