A Rochester landmark for 150 years, Immaculate Conception Church was founded by Irish immigrants in 1849. The first church was a frame structure that was destroyed by fire in 1864. Construction of a second church began that same year. The new church, which was built of brick in a modified Romanesque style, was damaged by fire in 1872. The parish subsequently repaired and enlarged the surviving structure.
The present church is basically the 1864-1873 building modified by two large-scale renovations. An entrance portico was added to the east façade and the spire was removed from the north tower. The main sanctuary windows, installed in 1923, are made of richly colored German stained glass. Pike Stained Glass Studio installed the handsome blue rose window and the three large lancet windows behind the organ in the 1950s.
In 1992, Immaculate Conception Church was placed on the National Register of Monroe County Historic Buildings. To prepare for the 150th anniversary of the church, the building underwent extensive rehabilitation in 2000. Some pews were removed to make room for a gathering space near the back of the church. An accessible entrance was added and the entire interior of the church was repaired and painted.
Today its congregation has joined with the St. Bridget’s community to form a thriving Roman Catholic Church of African American tradition.