Rundel Memorial Library

Under construction
115 South Ave., Rochester, New York

Monumental building on the Genesee River

Photos 

Overview Looking Southwest

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in July 2020

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Map 

Description 

"The Rundel Memorial Building is a monumental, three-story plus basonent building, framed in reinforced concrete and faced in smooth Indiana limestone. The principal facade is oriented eastward toward South Street and consists of a five-bay-wide central pavilion and flanking, three-bay-wide wings. Abutted by massive, pylonated towers with stylized figures in shallow, raised relief^ the central pavilion is composed of engaged Doric columns, and a broad attic story entablature bearing the building's name, date of construction and purpose in incised lettering. Fenestration consists of metal window sash at the first and second stories, separated by black marble spandrels with Art Deco detailing. Bronze entrance doors, also with Art Deco embellishment, are located in the center bay and approached by a broad flight of stairs. The flanking wings of the east facade each feature three vertical window bays incorporating first and second story windows within the same recessed openings. Ttiree smaller rectangular windows at the third story are centered above each of the larger openings below. A simplified comice and stepped-back parapet terminate the upper portions of the facade. The six-bay side elevations repeat the same archijfectural treatment as the flanking wings of the east facade.

"The rear, or river, elevation extends downward to the Genesee River. The arcaded sijb-basement is faced in smooth Vermont granite and encloses the Johnson and Seymour power canal and spillway beneath the building, which discharges water through the eleven arched openings of the arcade. The basement and upper stories of the rear elevation are faced in limestone, and incorporate a slightly projecting central mass with a raised parapet fluted pilasters and a corbel-supported limestone balcony at the main floor level. Fenestration of the west elevation repeats the pattern established at the principal facade and side elevations with the exception of 13 rectangular basement story windows, regularly centered below each of the primary structural baysned by Northrup and Kaelber, the structure restrained in detail with monumental massing and is an outstanding example of a Neoclassical style civic building. limestone. The principal facade is oriented eastward toward South Street and consists of a five-bay-wide central pavilion and flanking, three-bay-wide wings. Abutted by massive, pylonated towers with stylized figures in shallow, raised relief^ the central pavilion is composed of engaged Doric columns, and a broad attic story entablature bearing the building's name, date of construction and purpose in incised lettering. Fenestration consists of metal window sash at the first and second stories, separated by black marble spandrels with Art Deco detailing. Bronze entrance doors, also with Art Deco embellishment, are located in the center bay and approached by a broad flight of stairs. The flanking wings of the east facade each feature three vertical window bays incorporating first and second story windows within the same recessed openings. Ttiree smaller rectangular windows at the third story are centered above each of the larger openings below. A simplified comice and stepped-back parapet terminate the upper portions of the facade. The six-bay side elevations repeat the same archijfectural treatment as the flanking wings of the east facade. The rear, or river, elevation extends downward to the Genesee River. The arcaded sijb-basement is faced in smooth Vermont granite and encloses the Johnson and Seymour power canal and spillway beneath the building, which discharges water through the eleven arched openings of the arcade. The basement and upper stories of the rear elevation are faced in limestone, and incorporate a slightly projecting central mass with a raised parapet fluted pilasters and a corbel-supported limestone balcony at the main floor level. Fenestration of the west elevation repeats the pattern established at the principal facade and side elevations with the exception of 13 rectangular basement story windows, regularly centered below each of the primary structural bays.

Quotation from the Building Structure Inventory Form, Division for Historic Preservation, New York State Parks and Recreation, Albany NY prepared by Ted Bartlett of the Landmark Society of Western New York, Inc., August 1985. A link to the document is listed below under "Sources."

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 4, 1985
Reference number
85002845
Architectural styles
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Beaux Arts; Modern Movement: Art Deco
Area of significance
Architecture
Level of significance
Local
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Building
Historic function
Library
Current function
Library
Period of significance
1925-1949
Significant years
1932; 1935

Update Log 

  • August 31, 2020: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • August 31, 2020: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, added description, and added photos

Sources