history

The city's most innovative mixed-use project in decades.

Mr. Sibley's Office

HISTORY REAWAKENED

since 1906

Sibley Square offers flexibility and convenience in Monroe County for a state of the art office with remarkable amenities in the epicenter of Rochester’s renaissance.

Sibley Square is a 1,100,000-square foot mixed-use property.  In the last five years, Winn Companies has invested over $100,000,000 in renovations, including all new energy efficient windows, a new central HVAC system, state of the art elevators, mechanicals and high-tech security with class-A office finishes.  Over the last 5 years the building has invested in 24/7 security, including over $500,000 in a state-of-the-art upgraded camera system and lighting plan.

Sibley square is also home to 104 luxury apartments and 72 55+ living apartments.

Visit our museum HERE.

1863

Frederick Douglas bought land at 28-30 North Clinton Avenue in April 1863. Douglas eventually lost the property after the Civil War and it reverted to the original owner, but this parcel for which Frederick Douglas held a deed would eventually become a part of the Sibley building in the 20th century.

1904

Sibley Fire

When an electric fire decimated the original downtown location of the Sibley, Lindsay and Curr department store, a relocation became inevitable.  The new location they chose is home to where Sibley Square is located today: the corner of East Main Street and Clinton. This disastrous event is historically referred to as the "Sibley fire" because the store had just received its spring stock of dry goods and other merchandise and suffered an estimated $1.5 million in damages. Luckily, there were no casualties.

The new building was built in sections.  The picture to the left is of the Sibley Building as it was being built.

1906

Sibley Clock Tower

The Sibley Building doors opened again in 1906 at 250 East Main street with a grand opening celebration. The new home to Sibley’s was designed by noted Rochester architect J. Foster Warner

The original plan began as a five-story, Chicago school style skeletal steel building sheathed in brown Roman brick with expansive deeply set Chicago style windows.  The building housed more than five acres of floor space and spanned 360 feet on Main street and 300 feet on Clinton Avenue.  One of the most recognizable features today is the copper topped clock tower and Baroque and Renaissance style details, as well as several other architectural features that have been restored and preserved and remain in the building today. 

1911

The Mercantile Building

Another major addition was completed known as The Mercantile Building.  This section of the building would carry the store to Franklin Street and North Street.  The store, which was 5 acres of floor space, now spanned 13 acres and would employ 2,400 people during the holiday season.

1924

Sibley Tower

In the 1920’s, optimism and prosperity flourished and in 1924, Jesse Lindsay, proposed another addition to the Sibley Building.  Six floors were added to the Mercantile Building.  This would become known as Sibley Tower which today houses 104 Luxury Apartments and 72 Affordable 55+ Living Apartments.  When completed, the Sibley Building was the largest office building in the city.

1940

Sibley Department Store

By 1940, Sibley’s was the largest such store between New York City and Chicago and it remained in business at the location until 1989. Sibley’s was the department store that anchored Rochester.  In 1989, the Sibley brand left the building and the company was rebranded as Kaufmann’s.   The Kaufmann brand has evolved and now operates as the Macy’s we know today.  Rochester natives and visitors have fond memories of going to the Sibley department store. Especially popular during the holidays, the storefront windows appealed to all ages and invited passersby into the center city location. 

1968

Sibley’s During the Holidays

By 1968, there were a total of 191 individual Sibley’s department stores.  Sibley’s had one of the largest telephone order departments and employed more than 3,000 people during the holiday season.  During this time, the vehicle fleet which includes 60+ vehicles delivered more than 1.5 million packages each year.  The mailing department would send out more than four million individual pieces of mail a year.

It is estimated that on the day before Christmas, known as Christmas Eve, well over 100,000 people have entered the Sibley Stores.

1993

Sibley Atrium

The Sibley Atrium was created and the addition of skylights were added giving the building a bright, open air feeling.

2012

Sibley Square Revitalization

WinnCompanies purchases the Sibley Building in 2012 and Sibley Square is born and the revitalization of 1.1 million square feet begins.  The new Sibley Square name focuses on the square atrium around Sibley’s iconic Clock where people have been gathering for more than a hundred years. The main atrium ‘Square” will be home to boutique retail and local artisan food products creating a dynamic urban marketplace.

2014

Sibley Restored

The beautifully restored Sibley building listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.   

In addition, Sibley is now home to several businesses to include ChildFirst Network, Eastman Dental and Rochester Police Department.

2017

Sibley Square Openings

2017 stands out as a monumental year for Sibley Square.  During 2017, the building saw the sixth floor open as High Tech Rochester which is now known as NEXTCORPS which is Rochester’s largest Technology Incubator and Accelerator.  

In addition to this exciting opening, the Sibley Tower also began leasing and moving in Residents to floors 9 – 12, this community is knowing as Spectra at Sibley Square and offers luxury apartments, amenities and breathtaking view of the city and Greater Rochester area.  Leasing also began on floors 7 & 8 of the Sibley Tower introducing The Landmark at Sibley Square, a 55+ living community.

2018

Sibley Square Continues to Innovate

If 2017 proved to be a monumental year, 2018 continues the energy and excitement.  The Landmark at Sibley Square began moving in residents in January of 2018, @SibleyWorx opened offering “Just the Desk You Need” for small businesses and Citizen’s Bank opened its doors on the corner of East main and Franklin Street overlooking the Liberty Pole.

2018 also brought some new history findings.   It was recently identified during the Douglass bicentennial, by a research team from Rochester Institute of Technology, that Frederick Douglas bought land at 28-30 North Clinton Avenue in April 1863.  Douglas eventually lost the property after the Civil War and it reverted to the original owner, but this parcel for which Frederick Douglas held a deed would eventually become a part of the Sibley building in the 20th century.

As 2018 comes to end and we move into 2019, more news and excitement is sure to come.  Don’t miss out on your chance to Be a Part of the Energy!

rehabilitation

HISTORIC ADAPTIVE REUSE

WinnDevelopment is the award-winning development arm of multifamily owner, developer, and manager, WinnCompanies. It is the nation’s leader in transforming historic and landmark buildings into modern mixed-use communities that feature high-quality residences, as well as retail, commercial or academic uses. To date, WinnDevelopment has transformed 36 empty historic properties into more than 3,600 units of mixed-income housing, collectively valued at $520 million. Over the years, the company has developed tens of thousands of workforce, market-rate and affordable apartments and hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial space in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. WinnDevelopment is also a recognized industry leader in sustainability and has created more solar power than any other housing developer in the U.S. Known for its financial stability, commitment to quality and attention to local needs, WinnDevelopment is proud of its work at Sibley Square and its investment in the renaissance of downtown Rochester. To learn more about Sibley Square click here. Learn More at WINNDEVELOPMENT or WINNGREEN.