No matter where the Rochester Elevator is located, the Rochester-Avon Historical Society will make sure that the historic structure is preserved.
Sunrise Senior Living has announced that it no longer plans to purchase the elevator's current site at University Avenue and Water Street. As a result, the historical society's plans to move the elevator are on hold while the current owner, Lawrence Smith, and the Rochester City Council consider new options.
"The historical society will continue to play an active role in the elevator's future," says President Greg Doyle. "We will be working with Mr. Smith and the City of Rochester to develop plans for the elevator. There are advantages to preserving the elevator at its current site, such as keeping it in its historical context and having it serve as part of the 'town square' proposed for east of downtown."
Sunrise had offered the elevator to the historical society on the condition that it was relocated. The historical society had planned to move the elevator to a new site provided by the City of Rochester between the Clinton River and the Clinton River Trail, next to the Main Street bridge.
The historical society appeared before the Rochester Planning Commission on July 5,
2006, for a public hearing on a Special Project – Special Exception to relocate the elevator to the city-owned property. The proposal was referred to City Council for their advisory comments on Aug. 14, and Council voted to advise to the Planning Commission of the Council's recommendation for the approval of the Special Project designation request.
The request came back to the
Planning Commission on Sept. 6, 2006 and was approved. The historical
society now will request final site plan approval from the
Planning Commission. The site plan approval will be good for a year and will be needed in the event that the elevator will be moved.
"Depending on what happens with the property, we may still need to move the elevator," Doyle says. "We're prepared to move it to a new location or restore it at its current location. Either way, we'll work to preserve the elevator as a historical resource for our community. The goal for the elevator project has always been to have the grain elevator adaptively reused instead of torn down."
Saving the Rochester Elevator is the first phase of a larger initiative by the historical society and local governments to create a historic tourist destination along the Clinton River Valley. The elevator would be one of the historic landmarks included in the multi-year Clinton River Valley Heritage Area project. Another phase of the project will relocate one of the Parke-Davis barns to a new site near the Clinton River Trail.