David Hoyt, a prominent Rochester bookseller and stationer, built this home for his family around 1840. In 1850, Hoyt sold the property to Henry S. Potter, who became a director and the largest stockholder of what eventually became the Western Union Telegraph Company. Potter died here in 1884, and his daughter Henryetta Potter remained in the home until 1907.
After years of neglect as a boarding house, Jack Lubelle bought the property in 1969 and started a 20-year process of suing the city for approval to demolish it. The Rochester Preservation Board protected the house from demolition, but the empty structure was vandalized, and a 1976 fire caused substantial damage. In 1989, the City won the final appeal to take title to the house, and in 1991, the Landmark Society of Western New York purchased the building for its offices and Library. In 2019, ownership transferred to The Hoyt-Potter House, LLC, owned and operated by Monica McCullough (a one-time Corn Hill resident), principal of MM Development Advisors, Inc., a Rochester-based development company. It is now an office building for community-focused city businesses, some of which are women- and minority-owned enterprises.
Designated a City Landmark, the house is one of Rochester’s most valued architectural treasures. Visitors can view the beautiful winding staircase and ornate plasterwork and stroll through the double parlors, which have been restored to reflect the time of Mr. Potter’s greatest affluence—the mid-1870s. A lot of deferred maintenance has recently been addressed, including a full restoration/rebuild of the second-story door and frame and a new copper roof above the entry. A commissioned painting of The Hoyt Potter House by local artist Corinne Fallone hangs in the front entrance. Building floorplans from the original Landmark Society renovation can be seen in the ground floor office of MM Development.