What Will Happen to the Rochester Elevator?

Will the Rochester Elevator be Sold?

Rumors continue to circulate around town that the historic Rochester Elevator will be sold. If that happens, more than likely the building would come down, or be moved. Rochester Media visited the bright red landmark this week. The helpful staff said “an offer is always on the table” when it comes to selling. However, “we”re not going anywhere anytime soon,” said the gentleman working the counter.

What Will Happen to the Rochester Elevator - Rumors Continue - photo by Michael Dwyer

What Will Happen to the Rochester Elevator – Rumors Continue – photo by Michael Dwyer

One-Hundred and Thirty-five Years

The Rochester Elevator has been in continuous operation for 135 years. Established in 1880 by Charles and Albert Griggs, two brothers, the Elevator is the oldest business in Rochester. It is recognized by the Historical Society of Michigan with a Michigan Milestone Business Award.

They were also listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Michigan in December of 2010. Lawrence Smith is the current owner.

More information can be found at the Rochester Avon Historical Society Website and the Remembering Rochester Community Blog.

Rochester Media and The Community Edge will continue to follow the rumors.

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at michael@rochestermedia.com.

Comments

  1. Good Morning, just wondering what prompted your investigation into the elevator? If the property is sold the Historical Society will be the first to know. Rochester has evolved from a frontier town to farm town to a major mill town to an industrial town over the years. It is still evolving as new parking structures are being built, 600 more housing units are planned and newcomers are tearing down 100+ year old historic homes in favor of “bigfoot houses.” There is only one mill left in town to link Rochester to its mill town past and the elevator is the last remaining link to Rochester’s short lived farming history. New money is moving into town with seemingly little knowledge or care for the city history. I had always hoped to see it turned into a museum, ice cream shop, bicycle rental or a week day farm stand. If the property is sold, the building will be moved.

  2. Fred Ennis says:

    Has anyone ever thought of turning the old elevator and feed store into an upscale lawn and garden store? Rochester is now a thriving market for upscale stores, especially in the downtown Old Rochester core.
    Then as we move into the colder weather, they could handle the snow blowers, specialty Xmas decorations and lights, even ethnic decorations and Xmas related hostess gifts. After that, a complete springtime planting schedule and featured seeds and plants along with all kinds of firendly advice leading into specials on seeds and bulbs just in time for the optimum planting time.

    The historic site, the convenience, the opportunity to deal with experts and most importantly leveraging the history of the Rochester Elevator can make an upscale lawn and garden retailer a major attraction for the greater Rochester area.

    If it is done right.

    • DREAMER …. NOTHING YOU HAVE SUGGESTED WOULD BRING IN ENOUGH PROFIT TO BEGIN PAYING THE PROPERTY TAXES. CITY COUNCIL JUST SPENT OVER $4 MILLION ON TWO VERY UGLY PARKING STRUCTURES … ESPECIALLY THE THREE STORY UNIT ON WALNUT.

      YOU’D THINK SOMEONE ON COUNCIL WOULD GIVE A CARE ABOUT ANYTHING HISTORIC?

      LOL

      • Hi Ron,
        Just to clarify, the two parking platforms have budget of $12 million total. The first one came in under budget and on time. Hope you get a chance to visit the East Platform, now open, to see it in person. Here is a link to our story on it: http://www.rochestermedia.com/first-parking-platform-opens-in-downtown-rochester/
        the East Platform seems to work well in the space and does what was needed. We’ll have to wait until October to see if the West Platform (the three level one off Walnut) completes the project as a positive, negative, or neutral addition to the city.
        Thank you for your thoughts.

        • Michael, any update on the fate of the elevator? Also, I hear that the farmers market will be moving to the east parking platform. Can you confirm this?

  3. I grew up in Rochester, MI and my family still lives there. I was really sad and disappointed to hear this news. I love going home to visit all the time. Don’t take away one of the things that makes our hometown feel beautiful and unique. This is historic and should stay where it is. Don’t take it down and replace it with a generic condo complex.

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