|1151 Hudson Avenue, Rochester, NY 14621|
|Providence Housing Development Corporation|
|Property Manager's Phone|
|Herbert Bohacket and Lewis Brew|
|Democrat and Chronicle|
Built in 1931, the Pulaski Library (originally the Hudson Avenue Branch Library) was the second permanent library constructed by the City of Rochester. Prior to its construction, the library system consisted of twelve temporary sites and the newly constructed permanent Monroe Avenue branch. The central library (Rundel Memorial Building) did not yet exist. The construction of a library on this site was further supported by completion of Benjamin Franklin High School directly across the street. A highly visible anchor in the 14621 neighborhood, the library is historically significant for its association with the growth and importance of the Polish community in Rochester’s North Side. During construction, it was proposed that the library be named in honor of Revolutionary War hero Brigadier General Casmir Pulaski, a native of Poland, who died in that conflict. On the 50th anniversary of this building, it was renamed “Pulaski Library” in honor of General Pulaski.
Listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, the Pulaski Library is architecturally significant as an intact representative example of Italian Renaissance style design applied to an important neighborhood civic building. It was designed by Rochester architects Herbert Bohacket and Lewis Brew, who were chose, in part, because of the success of their designs for the recently constructed Monroe Avenue branch library and East Side Presbyterian Church. The Italian Renaissance design of the building reflects other important civic buildings erected during this era, including the Eastman Theatre/School of Music and the Monroe Avenue Branch Library. The retrained, yet elegant appearance of the building is enhanced by its limestone construction and tile roof. In 1994, this library was closed when two library branches in the northeast area of the city were consolidated as a cost-saving move.1
The Group 14621 Community Association took over the building in 2001 with plans to turn it into a neighborhood computer center. Unfortunately, the project was abandoned due to lack of funds. In 2013 the city put out a Request for Proposals, noting that,
The condition of the building has declined greatly from lack of maintenance, inattention to needed repairs and water intrusion. Repairs must be made to the roofing system, gutters, and masonry. Installation of HVAC, electrical, fire protection and plumbing systems is required. The first floor contained decorative woodwork and extensive built-in shelving and cabinetry. Due to water damage, many the interior features and finish materials cannot be salvaged.
The sale price for the Pulaski Library was only $1,000. As an historic building in a troubled neighborhood, it was also eligible for numerous tax credits.2 The project was taken up by local developer Providence Housing, who plan to convert the library to affordable apartments.
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