Lehigh Valley Railroad Station (Rochester, New York)

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Rochester - Dinosaur BBQ aerial view.jpg
The Rochester location of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in June 2010
Location99 Court Street, Rochester, New York 14604
Platforms1 island platform (former)
Tracks2 (former)
ConnectionsRochester Subway (Court Street) (former)
Opened1892 (1892)[3]
Rebuilt1905,[3] 1982
Former lines
Preceding station Lehigh Valley Railroad Following station
Rochester Junction
Rochester Branch Terminus
Lehigh Valley Railroad Station
LV station Rochester.jpg
The station shortly after completion of its construction in 1905
Lehigh Valley Railroad Station (Rochester, New York) is located in New York
Lehigh Valley Railroad Station (Rochester, New York)
Lehigh Valley Railroad Station (Rochester, New York) is located in the United States
Lehigh Valley Railroad Station (Rochester, New York)
Location99 Court St., Rochester, New York
Coordinates43°9′12″N 77°36′29″W / 43.15333°N 77.60806°W / 43.15333; -77.60806Coordinates: 43°9′12″N 77°36′29″W / 43.15333°N 77.60806°W / 43.15333; -77.60806
Arealess than one acre
ArchitectHyde, F.D.[3]
Architectural styleLate 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Gothic, French Renaissance
MPSInner Loop MRA
NRHP reference #85002858[1]
Added to NRHPOctober 04, 1985

Lehigh Valley Railroad Station is a historic railway station located at Rochester in Monroe County, New York. The Lehigh Valley Railroad built the station in 1905 but stopped using the station for passenger service in the 1950s. Later the station was used as a bus terminal and then as a night club. In the 1980s the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places and today it houses the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurant.[3]


Rochester subway postcard. The Lehigh Valley Railroad Station's passenger platforms, service road, and freight terminal are visible

Around the turn of the 20th century, the Lehigh Valley Railroad was the last of several railroads to bring passenger service to Rochester.[3] The first passenger terminal was a small wooden depot constructed a few blocks to the south of the later station, near where I-490 passes today.[3]

The current station was built in 1905 and consisted of a passenger station and freight terminal. The buildings are located above the Johnson-Seymour mill on the Genesee River and across the river from the site of the former Erie Railroad Depot. The passenger station is a brick, hip-roofed, ​1 12-story structure with French Renaissance overtones, including "two-toned walls, copper gutters and flashing and a red tiled roof."[3] The freight terminal is a 1-story brick structure. Behind the buildings was two tracks and an island platform elevated above the river with the Lehigh Valley tracks heading south along the east side of the river. To the left of the buildings was an elevated service road that led to a bigger Lehigh Valley railyard.

Passenger service ended in 1950 with the decline of the railroad which began during the Great Depression and resulted in railroad having to restructure its debt multiple times under the Chandler Acts of 1938-9.[4][2]

Post-train station years[edit]

After the ending of passenger service, the station briefly served as a bus depot, but it was abandoned completely in 1954.[3] Around the same time, the platform and tracks from the station were demolished and most of the service road was demolished in the 1960s.[5] The buildings became widely known as an eyesore in Rochester, and a refurbishment attempt in the 1970s failed.[3] Local developer Max Farash bought the buildings in 1982 (for one dollar), and a two-year restoration process ensued.[6] In 1985, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

After a few years in the 1990s as a nightclub called Carpe Diem, the buildings now house Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.[3] In 2018, a re-development project on the site of the former Rochester Subway Court Street station and remains of the service road resulted in a luxury high rise being built next door and in one of the footings used to support the station being used to also support a pedestrian walkway called the Genesee Riverway Promenade.[7][8] From the promenade, one can see the former braces on the station deck that once helped support the train platform and tracks.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Archived from the original (Searchable database) on 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2016-07-01. Note: This includes Ted Bartlett (August 1985). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Lehigh Valley Railroad Station" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-01. and Accompanying three photographs
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Finn, Michelle (October 1, 2012). "Remodeled depot has a rich history". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York. Gannett Company. pp. 3B, 4B. Archived from the original on October 1, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  4. ^ http://gold.mylargescale.com/Scottychaos/rochester/ Archived 2012-03-24 at the Wayback Machine, a history of rochester new york railroads
  5. ^ Chait, Richard "Dick" (2015-09-14). Rails in Rochester and Monroe County. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781439653258.
  6. ^ "RochesterSubway.com : From Eyesore to Opportunity: Rochester's Lehigh Valley RR Station". Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  7. ^ "Bergmann - Promenade at Erie Harbor Pedestrian Bridge & Multi-Use…". Bergmann. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  8. ^ "Photos of the New Promenade Downtown". the Rochesteriat. Retrieved 2019-07-05.