The Tale of Three Bricks Or – “It only took 25 years”

More than a month ago we received a call from a fellow inquiring if our museum collection would be interested in having a few bricks gathered from one of the many piles around the demolished Greece Town Hall on West Ridge Road. The Town offices had already moved into the new town Hall in December 1999. Demoli­tion began in April 2001 on the West Ridge Road site. The answer was a tentative, YES, but we would have to see them to decide. A few days later a box arrived on our front porch with the three bricks. Just like people, a brick can come in many forms, small, big, thin, or husky and rough! Our three, which we did accept, were of the latter two types, HUSKY & ROUGH! Those ‘Three Musketeers Bricks” could have been used for the rougher interior. More of a dense and harder finished brick was used for the exterior.

“It only took 25 years?” That was the length of time it took the town of Greece to finally come to realize they desperately needed a town hall. The first such request came about in 1895 and several more times in the early 1900s. No action was ever taken then. First came the annexing of the Village of Charlotte by the City of Rochester in 1916.

The United States entered World War I in 1917 and by 1919 the “dough boys’ were returning from the war and a surge of marriages followed. A building boom soon began. The Town government needed more space than a rented room in Charlotte or the town clerk’s office in his home. A special proposition was put to the citizens of Greece to vote (May 9, 1919) on building a Town Hall. It was approved by a vote of 169 to 72. The 1920 U.S. Census put the total population of Greece at 3,350.

Through the next almost eighty years many additions and changes were added to increase the needed space. Again, as before, talks were started that a new Town Hall was needed. The added arrival of the computer age compounded the problem. The electrical system, as well as the telephone wiring system, was aged and obsolete. The thick brick walls did not lend themselves easily to that kind of an upgrade.

Our vintage Town Hall bricks are rather insignificant compared to the cupola that once crowned the top of the building. It was saved and restored by members of the Greece Historical Society. It now is part of a welcome sign on the grounds of the Society at 595 Long Pond Road. The two Doric col­umns that stood at the main entrance to the former Town Hall are now in the lobby of the Community Center at the North end of the present Greece Town Hall. All these varied artifacts help to tell the story of the Town of Greece’s first public building.

originally printed in the Greece Historical Society’s Corinthian newsletter, June 2020