The Phoenix Building

On this site was a tavern as early as 1807. It burned and the present structure was built in 1814. It was built to be a tavern or an inn or a hotel. Pittsford was on the stagecoach line from Canandaigua to Rochesterville by 1816. The trip took two days and travelers needed a place to stay overnight. By 1825, the number of stage lines had increased and a 60 horse barn was built behind the Phoenix. (Too bad cars take up more space than horses!)

Architecturally, the building can be classified as old Federal style with stepped gables, double chimney profile and elliptical arches over doors and windows. This style is very similar to the Agustus Elliott house now called the Manse at St. Louis church. We think these two may have been designed by the same architect.

The building has had a long history – mostly as an inn or hostelry, and has had many names.
It was known as Old Heidelberg and featured German food and a German band. When Germany became an adversary, it was not good business to retain the German atmosphere, so the name was changed to the Pittsford Inn. The building suffered a tragic fire in 1963 and it sat empty for over a year, before it was purchased by Andrew D. Wolfe of Wolfe Publications fame.

Within a week, restoration began and this mighty, magnificent building was saved. The third floor, a 27 by 46 foot ballroom with its elliptical concave ceiling was restored. It now houses busy businesses and the first floor is the office of Mitchell Pierson, Jr. Realtors. Fortunately the corner still retains what Paul Malo calls a genuine monument of the earliest architecture of Western New York.