Property #: 1515228010
Historic Site Credit: Rochester-Avon Historical Society
Website Administrator: Rochester-Avon Historical Society

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Address
Street:  431-433 S Main Street
City:  Rochester
County:  Oakland
ZIP:  48307
Latitude:  42.6816893
Longitude:  -83.1340917
Current Name:
Historic Name:
Oliver P. Gibbs Block
 
Evaluations
Contributes to:
NR Eligible:
Contributing:
SHPO Evaluation:
 
Resources on Property Status
Historic Use:
Commerce/Trade: Business
Current Use:
Commerce/Trade: Business
Owner Type:
Private
Photo
Filename:
gibbs block 2011.jpg
Roll:
 
Frame:  
View:
Credit:
Deborah J. Larsen
Caption:
Oliver P. Gibbs block, east elevation, 2011
 
Main Building
Foundation:
1.
2.
3.
Wall:
1. BRICK
2.
3.
 
Roof:
1.
2.
3.
Other:
1.
2.
3.
 
Period of Significance:  
 
Area of Significance:
1. Commerce
2.
3.
Arch/Builder:  
Date Built:  1919
 
Architectural Classification:
Late 19th and Early 20th Century American Movements: Commercial Style 
Material Notes:
 
Description:
Two-story brick double business block. 
Other Buildings/Features:
 
Significant Persons:
Gibbs, Oliver P., 1873-1955 
Statement of Significance:
 
References:
1."O.P. Gibbs will remove the old Hiram Lambertson house next to the Idle House, within thirty days and at once commence operations on a new brick block of two stories, 20x100," Rochester Era, September 19, 1919.
2. "New Ice Cream & Confectionery Parlor: Cole Brothers," [display advertisement], Rochester Era, April 15, 1921.
3. "The opening of 'The Sugar Bowl,' Cole Brothers' new ice cream and confectionery parlors last Saturday...," Rochester Era, April 29, 1921.
4. "Consumers Power Co. Lease Gibbs Building," Rochester Clarion, August 5, 1927, p.1.
5. "Veteran Politician Passes: Oliver P. Gibbs Dies After Brief Illness," Rochester Clarion, December 15, 1955, p.1.
6. "Former Korean Veteran Operates Shoe Store Here," Rochester Clarion, March 14, 1957, p.1.
7. "Popular Rochester Shoe Store Closes After 35 Years," Rochester Clarion, June 11, 1992. 
Surveyor's Comments:
 
History:
Oliver P. Gibbs, who broke ground for the business block located at 431-433 S. Main in September 1919 and opened it to tenants in early 1920, was well-known in Rochester not for his business activities, but for his political ones. Gibbs served as Supervisor of Avon Township from 1927 to 1952, and also served two terms as chairman of the Oakland County Board of Supervisors. He led the township during a time of spectacular growth and development, when the first planning and zoning efforts were made for what would eventually become the city of Rochester Hills.

Gibbs was born in Indiana on July 9, 1873. He married Cora D. Glaspie, a native of Oxford, Michigan, on April 16, 1910 in Covington Kentucky. Cora D. Gibbs died on April 23, 1944, and Oliver P. Gibbs died on December 9, 1955.

One of the first tenants in Gibbs' new building was Mac's Furnishings, a menswear store at 431 S. Main. At 433 S. Main, the Cole Brothers Sugar Bowl, an ice cream and confectionery shop, held its grand opening on April 16, 1921. The Rochester Era described the Sugar Bowl as "elegant," and having an all-white interior with booths lining both walls. No doubt the business benefited nicely from the patronage of moviegoers at the Idle Hour Theatre directly next door.

In 1926, Consumers Power Company took a long-term lease on 431 S. Main and opened a local office that would serve the community for the next half century. In February 1930, A.F. Zimmerman and his son, Earl, moved their shoe store up the block to the 433 address, replacing the Sugar Bowl in the north half of the building. For more than fifty years to follow, a shoe store would occupy the space, as Jack Burr's bootery followed Zimmerman's in the same location in 1957.

Consumers Power closed its Rochester office in late 1972, and Burr's Bootery closed in 1992, after expanding into the former gas company space. In recent years, a variety of businesses have come and gone, including Ballen Supply at 431, and Record Time and Brooklyn Pizza at 433. Currently, Flair Boutique is located at 431 S. Main; 433 S. Main is vacant and is slated to be the new home of the Silk Worm.