A Little Building History
Have you ever wondered how the Hungerford building got its name?
The Hungerford building has a long history in Rochester, New York, dating all the way back to the Spanish-American War when it housed the manufacturing of rifles. In 1900 the J. Hungerford Smith Company relocated their business to 1115 East Main Street. The company soon added additional buildings to accommodate its rapid growth, becoming the country’s largest fruit syrups and ice cream toppings producer.J. Hungerford Smith Company also produced the flavor concentrate for A&W root beer.
J. Hungerford Smith Company continued at its urban headquarters until 1963, when it moved to a new facility in Victor, NY. Currently owned by Conagra Foods, J. Hungerford Smith continues to manufacture a wide variety of fruit syrups and ice cream toppings.
The J. Hungerford Smith name is still visible on the Southwest side of the building.
Maguire Properties rescued the building from urban blight. Over the past two decades, the building gradually got a new lease on life, attracting an eclectic mix of small businesses and artist studios.The loading dock, freight elevator, and long hallways still attest to the building’s history. Maguire Properties provided creative workspaces for an impressive array of artists and artisans. The diverse and fascinating mix of personalities and products is what made the building so appealing to visitors.
UPDATE – May 2022.
Today the Hungerford building is owned by Peter Hungerford, and the future of the creative community that thrives at the location is uncertain.