A Second Empire Victorian Landmark
The distinctive Italianate tower, iron cresting, “widow’s walk”, French Mansard slate roof and embellishments of double bracketry under “Yankee guttered” eaves, all characterize the style of this well-known Second Empire Corn Hill mansion. Completed by Rochester manufacturer, Jacob Irwin in 1872, this house remained the residence of his daughter, May Irwin Montague, until the 1930’s, when it sat empty for several years. By the 1950’s this once proud home had been broken up into eleven apartments, occupied by R.I.T. students. In the 1960’s the Landmark Society bestowed its “Landmark” status, and the house was converted into the current three-family designation.
Purchased by the current owner in 1982, care has been taken to preserve existing interior moldings and ceiling medallions. A variety of Rochester artists and craftsmen have contributed to its restoration and to the trompe l’oeil, faux painted woodwork found in the gracious parlor and dining room as well as a dramatic upstairs bathroom. The kitchen has been restored in an Arts and Crafts style and Mr. Irwin’s former first-floor bedroom is now an elegant library with linen-covered walls. Recent restorations include the exterior copper roof moldings and dormers, the replacement of hand-cut roof slate, and the installation of antique glazed tile chimney pots.
This home has been opened to the public on various “house-tours”; has been photographed for numerous books and publications of Rochester architecture and history; was filmed and featured in a six-part television series on Rochester preservation; and was the inspiration for local novelist, T.M. Wright’s ghost story, “The Woman Next Door.” In November 2003, owner Rob Goodling was presented with the Landmark Society’s “Historic Home Award” for his “care and commitment to the preservation of an architecturally significant house.”