Address: 69 Cascade Drive, Rochester, NY (View Map)
The Knowlton Building is proof that high end loft living is alive and well in Rochester. The Knowlton Building was privilege to a total overhaul in 1998, when the Loftus brothers, Jim and John, owners of the nearby Cascade Building, renovated it from top to bottom into luxury lofts and high-end commercial space.
The ceilings in the Knowlton are a mix of barrel-vaulted brick and thick wooden beams that are characteristic of the building craftsmanship that was standard in 1895, when the Knowlton Building was established. The huge metal sliding doors in the lobby denote the days when the space was used for much more industrial purposes than the current businesses that exist on the first, second, and third floors. A newer elevator brings you to the residential lofts, located on the third and fourth floors.
Truly, no expense was spared in the renovation. Each of the Knowlton Building’s fourteen residential units is meticulous in its details. The sleek, modern fixtures add contrast to the beautifully refinished original hardwood floors. The spacious kitchens come equipped with gas stoves, a delight to residents who are also foodies, since most loft buildings in Rochester offer electric stoves instead. Even the kitchen cabinetry is a marvel: built by a local cabinet-maker, the drawers have the smooth, quiet, self-closing action that is indicative of a top-of-the-line kitchen. The Knowlton Building features tankless hot water heaters, which heat water on demand, making them both more energy efficient, and better for anyone who wants to take a long shower, or fill a bathtub, without running out of hot water. Windows stretch from hip height to the ceilings, which are 24 feet high in some units! The closets are generously sized, with plenty of shelves and hanging space. Laundry couldn’t be any more convenient; there is a washer and dryer in each unit.
In the same manner that you would expect from the gentlemen who took great care to convert the warehouse into such beautiful living spaces, the Loftus brothers demonstrate pride in their ownership of the Knowlton and Cascade Buildings by being present and available to tenants on a daily basis.
The building’s renovation from the defunct box factory to the dramatic apartment spaces that exist there today has helped to shape the Cascade District into the thriving residential and commercial center that it is. The Loftus brothers’ hard work has paid off for the Cascade District, which has been continuously improving since their 1985 renovation of the Cascade Building. This April, Nothnagle Realtors opened the doors of its own recently renovated warehouse building, relocating their headquarters from Brighton to the Center City.
Unlike the city’s other main loft district, the St. Paul Quarter, the businesses in the Cascade district are mostly offices functioning on the standard 9am-5pm work-week schedule, making for a quiet neighborhood in the evenings, and allowing much of the parking to be freed up by the time residents of the Knowlton & Cascade Buildings arrive home. Not that parking is ever a concern for residents of the Knowlton Building and Cascade Building, since there is both covered parking, and ample space in a nearby surface lot owned by the Loftus brothers.
This place must be pretty popular, but don't get discouraged! Drop the landlord a note and ask to be on a waiting list.