Historical Location

Name: Sibley's/Sibley Building

Category: Shopping Center

Size: 1.1 million square feet

Condition: Relatively New

Inhabitants: Shoppers

Map Location: F2

Description (ca. 1921):
The Sibley Building was a popular department store that originated from a few dry-goods store employees, including Rufus Sibley, that wanted to start their own business. A dry goods store was opened in 1868 by Rufus Sibley, Alexander Lindsay, and John Curr. The first department store was known as the Boston Store. This was replaced by a building that was 12 stories tall and had 23 acres of floor-space. The new building, designed by J. Foster Warner and built by the company of Sibley, Lindsay, and Curr, was known as the Granite Building and was constructed to serve as the flagship store. The Granite Building is Rochester's first modern skyscraper (as it was constructed out of steel and rock), and is composed of recessed arches supported by columns of granite. After a huge fire in 1904 destroyed the internals of the old building (leaving the building itself intact), located on East Main Street, the company rebuilt its store on the corner of East Main Street and Clinton Avenue. It quickly became on of the top five largest department stores in the country. In 1918, E.D. Pierce was hired as head decorator for Sibley's. He created "elaborate and appealing" windows that they were even featured in articles. Aisles were huge and shelves and tables were lowered to display goods. When entering, women received roses and men carnations, and 12 models displayed the latest fashion.