The Italianate Villa on the corner of South Plymouth Avenue was built in the 1830s by James Seymour, president of the Bank of Rochester and later the Sheriff of Monroe County. In 1866 Henry S. Potter, the first president of Western Union, purchased it and in 1888 the next owner, Charles Hart, had the Troup Street carriage house built for his livery. There are poignant photos of this period, when the Hart family simultaneously housed horse and carriage as well as automobiles here.
In 1952, the Rochester Institute of Technology leased the carriage house to showcase arts and crafts created by its “School of American Craftsmen” professors and students that included internationally recognized artists such as Albert Paley and Wendell Castle. The gallery, called Shop One, was a unique institution in its time, providing not only a business venture originated and managed by crafts people, but also a forum for the presentation of museum quality avant-garde craftwork. Until it closed in 1972, Shop One continued to promote its mission of educating the public to the special beauty of handmade objects.
When the current residents purchased the carriage house in 1975, they converted the upper level into a family home befitting of its artistic legacy. A ceiling was removed in the main living space to expose four more original windows, which illuminated much of their collection of late 18th and early 19th century American portraiture, landscape, and still-life oil paintings. The German/Swiss armoire dates from the 1700s, as does the desk at the end of the hallway. The spiral staircase leads to an open- air garden and dining space. But before ascending to this unique residence, be sure to take notice of the 1957 Morris Minor parked in the large heated garage.