WXXI AM News

Historic High Falls Building Restored

Rochester, NY – stone factory building that dates back to 1826 has become the newest residential unit in Rochester's High Falls neighborhood.

The Parazin Building at 208 Mill Street was originally the Seyle Fire Engine Company. The four-story building had been abandoned and became city property three years ago after being owned for a time by WXXI. The City sold it for a dollar to a partnership led by developer Ben Kendig, whose specialty is reusing historic Rochester buildings.

Kendig and his partners put two-million-dollars into restoring the Parazin Building. It now houses commercial space on the first floor, six residential units and another half-dozen combined residential or office units.

Mayor Robert Duffy says it's another sign of the new life coming into Rochester's High Falls area, which is turning into a residential and commercial neighborhood.

City officials have hoped to do something to save the historic factory building for many years because it's one of the last survivors of Rochester's original industrial zone. The buildings along Mill Street were driven by water wheels from the High Falls of the Genesee River.

The building had become so run down that its picture was once used by the Toronto "Globe" to illustrate a story about Rochester's decline. Rochester Economic Development Commissioner Carlos Carballada says the building looked like it was about to fall over the first time he saw it.

Today, Mayor Duffy says it's been through an amazing transformation. The mayor says it's another sign of the new life coming into Rochester's High Falls area.