Property #: 1515232029
Historic Site Credit: Rochester-Avon Historical Society
Website Administrator: Rochester-Avon Historical Society

Street:  301 S Main Street
City:  Rochester
County:  Oakland
ZIP:  48307
Latitude:  42.6794984
Longitude:  -83.1339192
Current Name:
The Meeting House
Historic Name:
Burnett A. Horvitz Building
Contributes to:
NR Eligible:
SHPO Evaluation:
Resources on Property Status
Historic Use:
Commerce/Trade: Business
Current Use:
Commerce/Trade: Restaurant
Owner Type:
meeting house.jpg
Deborah J. Larsen
B.A. Horvitz Building, east elevation, 2012
Main Building
Period of Significance:  
Area of Significance:
1. Commerce
Arch/Builder:  Daniel B. Kressler - builder
Date Built:  1888
Architectural Classification:
Late Victorian: Romanesque 
Material Notes:
Two-story brick business block with substantial alterations to street elevation. Interior was completely gutted by fire on November 14, 1971. 
Other Buildings/Features:
Significant Persons:
Horvitz, Burnett A. 
Statement of Significance:
1. "Boom! Boom! The DeMunn property on the corner of Main and Third streets has been purchased by B.A. Horvitz, and a brick block will go up on the site in due season," Rochester Era, June 24, 1887, p.1.
2. "Meyers, of Detroit is drawing up...," Rochester Era, August 24, 1888, p.1.
3. "D. B. Kressler has taken the contract to build...," Rochester Era, September 21, 1888, p.1.
4. "The brick for B.A. Horvitz's new store are being drawn to the grounds," Rochester Letter in the Utica Sentinel, September 29, 1888, p.1.
5. "Early Monday morning B.A. Horvitz commenced moving his stock of goods to the new store just built by him for that purpose. Mr. Horvitz has the finest store building in Rochester, situated on the corner of Main and Third streets..." Utica Sentinel, March 2, 1889.
6. "Burnett A. Horvitz," Portrait and Biographical Album of Oakland County, Michigan. Chicago: Chapman Bros., 1891, pp.702-703.
7. "We neglected to mention last week...," Rochester Era, April 5, 1889, p.1.
8. "Former Downtown Merchant Dies at Retirement Home [Verne Sutton], Rochester Clarion, December 2, 1976, p.1.
9. "Mind, Body & Spirits Closes Its Doors for Good," Rochester Post, April 21, 2011, p.8A.
10. "The Meeting House to Open in Former Mind, Body, Spirits Space," Rochester Post, August 16, 2012. 
Surveyor's Comments:
The Horvitz Building was built by Burnett A. "Barney" Horvitz in the autumn of 1888, and opened for business in March, 1889. B.A. Horvitz was born in Russia in 1859, and emigrated with his family when they fled the persecution of Jews there in 1867. Horvitz came to Rochester in 1880 and went into the dry goods business with his brother, Max. When the Sidney House hotel opened on the southwest corner of Main and Third streets in February 1888, Horvitz had the good business sense to purchase the lot on the opposite corner of Main and Third, directly across from the hotel.

The Rochester Era reported on August 24, 1888, that a Detroit architect was designing the new structure: "Meyers of Detroit is drawing up Horvitz's plans." On September 21, the newspaper further disclosed: "D. B. Kressler has taken the contract to build B. A. Horvitz's store for $3,400. "Jeff" Eastman will do the brick and mason work entire and work will commence immediately."

According to a newspaper item published in April 1889, there was apparently a problem with the installation of the plate glass window in the new store. The item reads as follows:
"We neglected the mention last week in connection with the exchanging of the plate glass in Horvitz's store that it was brought about by the courtesy and management of D. B. Kressler, who had the contract for building the store. As the job had been duly accepted, Dan was under no obligation to get a new plate, but his sense of right alone dictated him in the matter."

The Horvitz dry goods store was apparently successful, but by 1907, the Horvitzes had moved away from Rochester. Over the years, the building at 301 S. Main has housed a number of concerns, the most notable including Sutton's Market (from the early 1930s until 1961), Dants, LaBelle's, and the Country Mouse gift shop, and Alvin's dress shop. The structure survived a major fire on November 16, 1971, which was fueled by a leaking gas meter and seriously damaged the interior.

In 2008, the building was converted from retail to restaurant use when the Mind, Body & Spirits restaurant was opened there after a substantial renovation which included the addition of a hydroponic green house on the rear (west) side. Mind, Body & Spirits closed in early 2011, and a new restaurant, The Meeting House, opened in December 2012 after another renovation which included the removal of the faux colonial features on the front of the building.