Check out some of Rochester’s hidden treasures with the Landmark Society

Around Town

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Are you ready to peel back the curtain to see some of Rochester’s most exclusive locations?

The Landmark Society of Western New York will host its “Inside Downtown” tour from October 22-31. It will be a virtual video tour due to COVID-19 safety protocols.

Cindy Boyer, the Director of Public Programs for The Landmark Society, discussed how this tour will take participants beyond the “No Admittance” sign Thursday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“This is a virtual tour so you can enjoy it no matter what the weather,” Boyer said. “For this tour, we decided that since it’s still too early to bring people into apartments, we would bring the visitors into places you normally can’t go at all.”

The professionally produced video will stream from October 22-31.

“Either they’re dangerous or they’re behind a sign that says ‘no entry,’ or you need a special pass,” Boyer said. “So we’re uncovering treasures in Downtown Rochester in locations that people normally can’t go and certainly, a group would never be able to go.”

Some of the places are familiar while others have been out of sign for decades.

“A number of people, of course, are familiar with the Old City Hall Downtown, Irving Place which is being reborn as The Rockford,” Boyer said. “That was a City Hall. There’s a bell tower and there’s still a bell in there from the 1880s. When our videographer found out that he had to climb a 20-foot ladder to get to it he said — sounds like fun! So that’s definitely something we wouldn’t have on the tour. And then we get a different perspective of places like the Times Square Building, the most recognizable feature on our Downtown landscape.”

“We not only go to the roof to get a closer look at those Wings of Progress but we go into the basement and see what’s left from when it used to be a bank building and there are some pretty interesting things down there,” Boyer said. “There are six different stops and one of the other ones is — everybody knows the Auditorium Theatre, right — but in the other half of that building there are six different auditoriums at one time and one is called Cathedral Hall and it is well-deserving of that name. it is spectacular. Finally, there is a place that’s in the Sibley Building — yes, we were just at the Sibley Building on our last tour — and this is an office that’s like a time capsule. It hasn’t been disturbed since the beginning of the 20th Century. I was shocked when I saw it. It is fantastic.”

Curiosity piqued? Get your tickets now online at

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