History of the Campuses and Buildings of the University of Rochester
United States Hotel Prince Street Campus Eastman School of Music Medical Center River Campus Mid-Campus South Campus Mt. Hope Campus Graduate, Family and Veteran Housing Central Utilities Other Off-Site Buildings
Eastman School of Music East Wing

East Wing Facade

Eastman Theatre under construction in 1921,
showing buildings on future site of the East Wing
Aerial photo of nearly completed East Wing

George Eastman intended to purchase the entire block bounded by Gibbs, Main, and Swan Streets and Barrett Alley for the School of Music, but was unable to reach agreement with the owner of the property at 433-453 East Main Street, which in the city's 1924 and 1935 plat books was shown as Harvey B. Dulton.  No individual with this name has been identified.

The Eastman School finally acquired the land in 1961 and used it as a parking lot until it was decided to build an East Wing on the land.  The Eastman Theatre was also renovated during the construction of the new wing, and both were reopened in 2010.

1926 Plat Book of the City of Rochester
Plate 2:  Eastman School and Theatre

1935 Plat Book of the City of Rochester  
Plate 1:  Eastman School and Theatre

1977 History of the University of Rochester, 1850-1962, by Arthur J. May.  Expanded edition with notes
Chapter 18, The Birth of a Music Center
For the projected center of musical training and entertainment, Eastman acquired a tract at the southeast corner of Gibbs and Main Streets; Barrett Place (or Alley) formed the boundary on the Gibbs Street side, and the property extended along Main Street almost to Swan Street. Owing to the excessive price demanded by the owner of the land on the southwest corner of Main and Swan, Eastman refused to buy it (though it was purchased by the University in 1961), and that necessitated significant revisions in the original plan of construction.
Chapter 39, The Eastman School--The Postwar Years
George Eastman at the time of the School's founding had planned to acquire all property bounded by Main, Gibbs, Barret, and Swan Streets, but speculators drove up the price of that remaining small plot. The rumored one million was too much for Eastman's blood, and plans for the Theatre had to be altered accordingly. In 1961, however, the owners met the University's offer, and the property was sold for $225,000. The building was then razed, and a hitherto unrevealed and rather blank facade of the Theatre was disclosed. Plans for a small park-like area succumbed, temporarily at least, to the demands for faculty and staff parking.

1987 "A History of the Eastman Theatre," by Vinci Lenti, Rochester History 49(1):1-24 (January 1987)
This city block-bordered by Main Street on the north, Barrett Alley on the south, Gibbs Street on the west, and Swan Street on the east-underwent a profound and dramatic change during the years 1919-1922. George Eastman had selected this site for the new Eastman School of Music and adjoining Eastman Theatre, and only two buildings were spared demolition. The owner of the large building at the comer of Main and Swan demanded too high a purchase price from Eastman. Rather than agreeing to what he considered to be an exorbitant amount, the mil-lionaire philanthropist ordered his architects to redesign the plans for the new theater and abandoned his efforts to acquire the building. It stood there for over forty more years, cutting a triangular wedge into the side of the theater, and was finally purchased by the Eastman School of Music and demolished.

2010 "Harmonious Halls," Democrat and Chronicle, December 5, 2010, Page 1C. | part 2 |
Eastman School of Music celebrates $46.9 million project - with concerts, of course.

New Eastman Wing Celebration

2021 Morris A. Pierce