Kodak Tower

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Kodak Tower
Kodak Tower Morrie Silver Way.JPG
Kodak Tower as seen from Morrie Silver Way
Alternative names
  • Kodak Office Tower
  • Building 7[1]
General information
Status Complete
Type Office
Location 343 State St
Rochester, NY
Coordinates 43°9′39″N 77°37′11″W / 43.16083°N 77.61972°W / 43.16083; -77.61972Coordinates: 43°9′39″N 77°37′11″W / 43.16083°N 77.61972°W / 43.16083; -77.61972
Construction started 1912
Completed 1914
Opening 1914
Owner Eastman Kodak Company
Management Eastman Kodak Company
Antenna spire 360 feet (110 m)
Roof 340 feet (100 m)
Top floor 260 feet (79 m)
Technical details
Floor count 19
Lifts/elevators 5
Design and construction
Architect Gordon & Kaelber Architects, Howard Wright Cutler

Kodak Tower is a 19 story skyscraper located in the High Falls District of Rochester, New York. at the Eastman Kodak Headquarters complex. It has a roof height of 340 ft (103.6 m) and stands a total of 366 ft (111.6 m) with its antenna spire included. It stood as Rochester, NY’s tallest building for over 50 years from its completion in 1914 until the Xerox Square Tower surpassed it in the late 1960s. It is currently the 4th tallest building in Rochester, NY[3][4] and is the 9th tallest building in New York State outside of NYC.

The Kodak Tower has long been recognized as a landmark in the Rochester Skyline, and an icon in the world of film photography. The building has also been called the "nerve center of photography".[5]

The skyscraper is owned and occupied by the Eastman Kodak Company, and remains the headquarters of the company.[6] In 2008 Kodak undertook work to repair and restore the exterior of the building.[7]


The Kodak Tower was constructed on the site of a former factory next to several seven story Camera Works buildings that clustered around the site. Construction began in 1912 and completed in 1914 with Kodak founder George Eastman presiding over the project.[8] Upon its completion in 1914 the tower would become the tallest building in Rochester, New York until the 1960s.

Design & Construction[edit]

Kodak Tower was designed by Howard Wright Cutler and Gordon & Kaelber Architects with a French Renaissance style. When construction began in 1912, the building was constructed as a 16 story high rise with a steel skeleton faced with terra cotta.[9] The building would overtake the Powers Building to become the tallest building in the city upon its construction in 1914.

Spire Addition[edit]

In the late 1920s the architects of the Genesee Valley Trust building announced plans to mount an architectural feature that would threaten the Kodak Tower’s status as the Cities Tallest Building. Following the announcement Eastman Kodak hired an architect to construct 3 more floors on the building with a mansard roof and aluminum tower bringing the tower to a total height of 366 ft (111.6 m) feet in 1935.[10]

Peregrine Falcon Webcam[edit]

In 1994 Dennis Money the founder of the Rochester Peregrine Falcon Project got permission from Kodak to install a nest box on the spire of the Kodak Office Tower. The nest box was installed as part of an effort to reintroduce peregrine falcons to eastern North America after the species was listed on the U.S. Endangered Species list.[11][12]

In 1998 a pair of peregrine falcons known to the public as Mariah & Cabot-Sirocco began nesting in the nest box.[13] The reintroduction effort became popular over the web after Brad Carney an IT Consultant at Eastman Kodak coordinated an effort to install web cams around the nest and made the web cam imagery available on the web for the public to view. The web cam quickly became a popular attraction on the kodak website.[14]

Mariah would hatch 43 falcon chicks at the top of the Kodak Tower until the nest box was relocated to the Times Square Building in 2008 when Eastman Kodak announced plans to do extensive restoration work on the Tower.[15]


Kodak Tower Under Renovation in 2008

Kodak Tower is 340 ft (103.6 m) tall to its roof and reaches a full height of 366 ft (111.6 m) tall. The building has 19 floors of commercial office space occupied exclusively by the Eastman Kodak Company. Atop the building is an 18th and 19th floor balcony with a steep gothic steeple with a lightning rod with the initials EK symbolizing Eastman Kodak at the very top of the building.[16]

Signage & Lights[edit]

A block letter sign that spells out the company name “KODAK” is displayed at the roof level of the North and the South Side of the tower. Throughout the night the sign is lit up with a red neon light.[17] In addition to the sign the towers 18th and 19th balcony facade is lit up during special occasions like sporting events and the holidays.[18]


On June 13, 2008 Eastman Kodak Announced that it would repair and restore the exterior of the tower. The building was in need of urgent repairs due to deterioration in the masonry in numerous locations on the tower which threatened the buildings safety and integrity.[19] The restoration was completed in 2010.[20]


The building's official address is 343 State Street, Rochester, New York 14650.


Panorama of Rochester skyline as seen from Kodak Tower

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to Kodak Tower at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Saint Michael's Church
Tallest building in Rochester, NY
366 feet (112 m)

Succeeded by
Xerox Tower