Historic Structures

The Female Academy of the Sacred Heart, Rochester New York

Date added: May 3, 2010 Categories: New York School

In 1849, the Religious Order of the Sacred Heart arrived in Buffalo to form a school. Lack of public support forced the school to move to Rochester in 1855. The first school was located on North Saint Paul Street. In 1863, the encroaching industrialization of the area and lack of additional grounds for expansion forced the school to move to its new location on Prince Street. Although the school had developed into an exclusive, expensive educational institution, Bishop McQuaid requested in 1970 that students unable to meet tuition costs he admitted gratis.

The original house was built c. 1845. The adjoining school building to the north was built in 1874. The chapel immediately to the north was built in 1890-91. The next north adjoining structure, a bridge and study hall wing, were constructed in 1922. The northern-most building, the gymnasium, was built in 1931.

The contractor of the 1874 building was Thomas Mitchell. The cost of the structure was $100,000.00. The general contractor of the chapel was Hiram Haskell Edgerton. Carpentry was done by Joseph May. Stonework was done by Whitmore, Kauber and Vicinus. The cost of the structure was $30,000.00. Daniel J. Meagher was the contractor of the gymnasium.

Floor plan: The center entrance of the original house provides access to a parlor to the left and a drawing room to the right. A north-south hall which extends into the 1874 building intersects the entrance hall to the east of these rooms. The large north-south living room is located to the east of the entrance hall. There are classrooms in the additions to the east. The kitchen is located in the basement.

The 1874 structure has a north-south central corridor serving the academic and institutional rooms on the four floors. There are two staircases, one at each end of the central unit. There is an elevator, kitchen, lunch room, and toilet facilities on the first floor; classroom and offices on the second floor; dormitory on the third floor; art and faculty rooms on the fourth floor. The basement of the chapel contains the kindergarten, utility room and mechanical room.