300 Alexander Apartments

300 Alexander Apartments encompasses the last remaining structure of the original Rochester Theological Seminary Campus on Alexander Street. The oldest part of the building originally known as Trevor Hall was constructed in 1869 as the first part of a four building campus including Rockefeller Hall, a chapel, library and lecture hall building, all designed by Rochester architect John R. Thomas. In 1905 Trevor Hall was significantly expanded to the south forming the U-shaped courtyard building seen today and recast in a Neo-Classical architectural style by architect J. Foster Warner. The renamed Alvah Strong Hall served as the main dormitory building for the seminary campus, and included teachers’ offices, lecture halls, and recreational facilities including an elegant central parlor on the main floor and gymnastic facilities including bowling alleys in the basement. Following the construction of what is now Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in 1932, Alvah Strong Hall remained largely vacant until being remodeled as the Alexandrian Apartments in the late 1940s.

In 2014, developer Mark IV Enterprises used state and federal tax credits to rehabilitate the former Alexandrian as a high-end apartment building, renamed 300 Alexander Apartments. Careful study and consideration was given to retaining and restoring character-defining details, features and public spaces.

 

Exterior features were retained and repaired, the only exterior alterations were sympathetic additions of a new elevator shaft at the rear of the building and entry canopy over the south entrance from the parking lot. The large raised terrace in the courtyard of the building was stabilized and reconstructed with salvaged stone and new brick. Historic window sash were repaired, repainted, and interior storm windows installed. Significant site improvements included extensive landscaping, pedestrian paths, lighting, landscaped parking, and fence and pier system along Alexander Street similar to that which existed originally on the site.

 

During the 1940s conversion to apartments, kitchens and bathrooms were inserted into what had previously only been dormitories and offices, resulting in awkward and compact unit layouts. In the 2014 rehabilitation, the number of apartments was significantly diminished from 76 to 58 to provide more accommodating and spacious units. The remnants of the original central parlor were preserved and reestablished as the primary public areas of the building with the rotunda functioning as a large parlor and event space and the grand fireplace at the east wall reincorporated into a more intimate lounge that features sections of the original wood wall paneling. Original stained-glass windows were retained throughout as part of unique bedrooms in the apartments abutting the rotunda and lounge. The original maple floors, three-panel door designs, arched openings and original millwork profiles were incorporated in all units preserving the distinctive historic interior character of the building.

We are honored that the 300 Alexander Apartments was recognized with The Landmark Society of Western New York’s highest recognition, The Barber Conable Award, in 2015.