Clarkson Corners Historic District
The Clarkson Corners Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document.  Adaptation copyright © 2009; The Gombach Group.
The Clarkson Corners Historic District is a cohesive set of resources associated with the residential development of Clarkson Corners, a nineteenth-century crossroads community in western New York State. The Clarkson Corners Historic District is located in and around the intersection of Ridge Road (NY Route 104) and Lake Road (NY Route 19) in Clarkson, a rural town west of Rochester. The New York state Barge Canal is approximately one mile south of the crossroads in the village of Brockport.
The Clarkson Corners Historic District encompasses approximately sixty historic resources associated with the development of the Clarkson crossroads between c.1804 and c.1910. The Clarkson Corners Historic District is defined by the intersection of two important transportation routes used by Native Americans: Ridge Road, which follows an extensive east-west ridge, was a major Colonial era transportation corridor; Lake Road is a north-south highway that connects Clarkson, Brockport (and the Erie Canal) to Lake Ontario, twelve miles to the north. No natural physical boundaries define the extent of the Clarkson Corners Historic District; rather, the district encompasses nearly the full extent of the hamlet's historic development, excluding a few properties at the edges that no longer retain sufficient integrity. Clarkson Corners was fully developed by c.1872 and it remains a distinct entity today, a densely developed group of buildings surrounded by large stretches of undeveloped farmland on the north and west and by low density modern infill on the east and south. Although Clarkson Corners is only about one mile north of the more heavily developed nineteenth-century community of Brockport, it maintains its identity as a separate, earlier and largely residential village.
Most commercial and industrial activities once associated with the village have ceased and only archeological traces remain of the early milling, distillery and small business enterprises that complemented the region's agricultural and transportation functions. However, the Clarkson Corners Historic District takes in the full extent of the hamlet's historic plan and includes religious and civic buildings and the entire range of residential development, including residences in a variety of types, periods and styles. The Clarkson Corners Historic District is especially distinguished by its relatively large number of early nineteenth century residences, some of which predate the construction of the Erie Canal, the major impetus to development in western New York. Therefore, within the context of community development in western New York, Clarkson Corners is an early and somewhat unusual example.
Clarkson Corners Historic District properties occupy contiguous single lots that vary slightly in size and district boundaries follow current legal lot lines. Most of the lots and building footprints remain unchanged since the nineteenth century. Residences are generally of brick or frame construction and one and two stories tall with gable roofs. Setbacks are generally uniform, with the exception of the church and school, which are both set back from the road a considerable distance. Although many residential lots originally included carriage houses, only a few outbuildings are extant.
Historic development of the village commenced in the early nineteenth century. Prior to 1820, much of the land that would become Clarkson Corners was held by three owners. As commercial interest generated by the construction of the Erie Canal in the vicinity of the village increased, buying and selling of land around the crossroads intensified, leading to the rapid subdivision of property. The village had assumed the general outline of its current configuration by c.1830. After the Erie Canal opened in Brockport, one mile south of the crossroads, in 1822, subdivision of large lots in Clarkson Corners continued until the hamlet was fully developed by about 1872.
As it developed, Clarkson Corners was somewhat atypical in the region, with most crossroads towns defined by single churches and commercial establishments, along with small groups of residences in the midst of nurseries or farmland. In contrast, Clarkson Corners developed in a more diversified manner, maintaining a small but thriving commercial and industrial base and an unusually large residential concentration.
Early commercial establishments (a tavern and a general store) were located on the southwest and northeast corners of the Lake Road-Ridge Road intersection, while industrial development (a sawmill and distillery) was concentrated on the north end of the mill pond, located southeast of the four corners. Between 1820 and 1860, residential lots of approximately one-half acre in size were laid out on both sides of Ridge Road and on the west side of Lake Road. The east side of Lake Road continued to develop with commercial establishments, which, by 1872, included a general store, wagon shop, harness shop and blacksmith. Deat's Woodworking Shop (3726 Lake Road) formerly housed a wagon shop and is a rare surviving remnant of Clarkson's commercial history. A grist mill was added to the industrial complex around the mill pond, and Palmer's Tannery was located at the northern end of the mill stream, northeast of the buildings, including a church, school and post office.
The early residential development of Clarkson Corners was undertaken primarily by middle and working-class families. However, a few exceptionally fine examples of Federal period design testify to the presence of a wealthier segment among the population. After 1840, Clarkson Corners began to acquire status as a "bedroom community" for nearby Brockport, offering amenities such as convenient transportation and easy access to the Erie Canal. People of social standing, such as doctors, lawyers and judges, began to find Clarkson a desirable place to live. Thus Clarkson Corners developed as a community with a distinct mix of classes. This is still apparent today in the juxtaposition of building types, sizes and styles that characterize the hamlet streetscapes, with buildings that were once the homes of members of the professional classes located in close proximity to those of common laborers and journeymen.
By 1872, the commercial, industrial, civic and residential configuration of Clarkson Corners was firmly established and the community had assumed the form that remains substantially intact today. Residences of different periods, styles and classes are closely sited along both sides of Ridge Road, occupying small lots virtually unchanged since they were laid out. On the west side of Lake Road, an uninterrupted row of residences range in date form the Clarkson Corners Historic District's earliest building, the Abel Baldwin House (c.1804), to one of its latest, the monumental twentieth-century Gordon-Sagawa residence (1905). The east side of Lake Road is more varied, with the town hall and post office interspersed with the remnants of Clarkson's industrial/commercial core and some later residential buildings. Ridge Road presents a varied streetscape, with the church and school located near the crossroads and residences lining both sides of the road to the east. To the west, development on the south side of Ridge Road stops abruptly just past the crossroads, while the north side is defined by a row of nineteenth-century residences. Major changes to the Clarkson Corners Historic District are limited only to the loss of historic commercial establishments around the crossroads (although these have been replaced by contemporary commercial development) and the redevelopment of the industrial sites on the east side of Lake Road.
Resources in the Clarkson Corners Historic District were constructed between 1804 and 1910. The oldest building in the Clarkson Corners Historic District is the Abel Baldwin house (c.1804), at 3731 Lake Road. Formerly a tavern, this Federal period building was moved to its current location from Ridge Road in c.1820. Other early nineteenth century Federal period residences are scattered throughout the Clarkson Corners Historic District, including examples concentrated on the north and south sides of Ridge Road and the west side of Lake Road. These include buildings with both center and side hall plans, some with exceptionally fine entrances with sidelights and leaded elliptical fanlights or plain classical surrounds. The most prominent building of this era is the Congregational church, 8339 Ridge Road. This 1825 frame building is sheathed in flushboards and has a modillioned cornice.
A number of buildings date from the mid-nineteenth century, some representing the Greek Revival style. The Bowman House at 3741 Lake Road is an especially distinctive high style example of the Greek Revival with a square cupola and full-height monumental portico. Exhibiting a wealth of detail, this dwelling is an important regional example of the style. The adjacent Lee-Duryea House at 3749 Lake Road is another good example of Greek Revival design and has a front gable and wing configuration. The Haskell-Anselm House at 3759 Lake Road (c.1841) is a side gable Greek Revival type with later alterations. The Clarkson Academy (8343 Ridge Road), c.1853, is a fine example of a public building in the Greek Revival style.
Representing later periods are residences from the Victorian era, including those at 3734, 3715 and 3721 Lake Road, an example of the Queen Anne style on the north side of Ridge Road (8308), and several examples of the Neoclassical mode, including the Clarkson Town Hall (1899) at 3710 Lake Street and the Gordon-Sagawa House, which features monumental porticoes and full-height bay windows.
The Clarkson Corners Historic District is significant as a representative example of an early nineteenth century crossroads community that illustrates a distinctive pattern of community development in western New York and recalls the development of the hamlet of Clarkson Corners between 1804-1910. The Clarkson Corners Historic District encompasses the entire historic commercial and residential core of the small hamlet, which developed around the intersection of two important transportation routes. Initial early nineteenth century development around the crossroads was related to providing services for travelers. By the 1820s, speculation in conjunction with the proposed location of the Erie Canal in the vicinity of the crossroads fueled the rapid subdivision of large lots and presaged the subsequent development of the hamlet with small, half-acre residential lots in the period 1820-1840. While residential development was filling in both sides of Ridge Road and the west side of Lake Road, the location of a pond and stream east of Lake Road served as the impetus for industrial and commercial development in this portion of the hamlet. The routing of the canal through nearby Brockport precluded the kind of rapid commercial growth in Clarkson Corners that characterized other canal towns; however, the proximity of Clarkson Corners to the business community of Brockport eventually led to the establishment of the smaller hamlet as a desirable bedroom community after 1840. By 1872, the commercial, industrial, civic and residential configuration of Clarkson Corners was firmly established and the community had assumed the form that remains substantially intact today.
As a crossroads community, Clarkson Corners is somewhat atypical in the region. The balance between its commercial/industrial development and its unusually large residential concentration provided for a somewhat larger and more diversified community than is usually found among similar examples in western New York. Although the commercial and industrial aspects of the village are not well represented in the hamlet today, the layout and configuration of its residential areas remain virtually unchanged since the late nineteenth century. Characterized by small lots, fairly uniform in size, with closely spaced buildings, Clarkson's streetscapes include a mixture of small modest brick and frame houses built as working-class housing and dwellings of substantially larger scale and more fully developed styles constructed for the middle and professional classes. Despite differences in scale, style and degree of embellishment, these buildings share qualities of siting, form, massing and materials that create a cohesive hamlet.
The Clarkson Corners Historic District is especially distinguished by its large collection of residential architecture from the first half of the nineteenth century, including many examples of the Federal and Greek Revival periods. In addition to some sophisticated and fully developed examples of these styles, the Clarkson Corners Historic District also includes numerous good examples of vernacular house types, some representing early and mid-nineteenth century working-class housing. Despite some deterioration, loss of ornamentation and alterations to fenestration, the majority of the extant resources are intact in terms of their location, siting, setback, lot size, building material, form and function and contribute to the integrity of the Clarkson Corners Historic District's plan and configuration. In addition to its large residential component, the Clarkson Corners Historic District also includes a church, a school, a town hall and a woodworking shop. The latter is one of only three examples of commercial development in Clarkson Corners to survive. Together, the historic roadways, lots and buildings of Clarkson Corners form an historic hamlet with a high degree of integrity and recall the history and role of the community in the development of western Monroe County.
The intersection of Ridge and Lake Roads was known as Murray Corners at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The general area was originally part of the "Triangular Tract" of land west of the Genesee River purchased by Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham in 1788. The apex of the tract was located near LeRoy and the base ran along the southern shore of Lake Ontario. In 1791, Phelps and Gorham sold their holdings to Robert Morris, whose son, Thomas, concluded a treaty (at Big Tree, near the village of Ganesso, Livingston County) with the Native Americans stipulating that they relinquish their claims to land west of the Genesee River. In 1801, Robert Morris sold the Triangular Tract to three merchants from New York City: Herman LeRoy, William Bayard and James McEvers. These partners built a north-south log road between Brockport and Lake Ontario in 1802 over the existing Indian trail. The east-west trail, or Niagara Ridge Road, opened to stagecoach travel in 1810. The intersection of the two roads became known as Murray Corners in honor of John Murray, a holder of substantial lands in western New York. In 1819, the New York legislature chartered the town of Clarkson, which was named for General Matthew Clarkson, a wealthy citizen who donated one hundred acres of land to the town. Murray Corners was renamed Clarkson Corners.
Hiel Brockway, founder of Brockport, first centered his attention on Clarkson Corners for its commercial potential. In 1817, Brockway moved from Ontario County to a spot in the town of Sweden, south of Clarkson Corners. He formulated a plan to benefit financially from the new Erie Canal, which was slowly progressing westward from Syracuse through the Montezuma swamp. At first, the route of the canal was projected several miles south of Clarkson Corners, with Rochester to be the temporary western terminus until the Lockport escarpment was traversed. With this in mind, Brockway built a brick tavern in 1804 on the southwest corner of Ridge Road-Lake Road intersection and a mill behind Eli Blodgett's home on the east side of Lake Road, where a mill pond had been created by damming a stream to the south (Brockway later purchased this property and put up another mill). Today this mill site is outside the southern boundary of the district. Archeological remains of another mill can be seen several hundred yards south of the Clarkson Corners Historic District boundary. These remains, which have been stabilized, include an intact wheel pit, metal gears and a stone wall.
During this period Clarkson Corners developed into a bustling transportation center, catering to stagecoach travelers and commercial haulers. An 1820 map shows forty families residing in the hamlet. Local blacksmith and harness shops serviced the transportation trade. Taverns and inns dotted both Lake and Ridge Roads near their intersection. In addition, clay pits north of Ridge Road produced local brick used in area homes to such an extent that Native Americans termed nearby Brockport the "Red Village." Clarkson Corners also had its share of brick dwellings, many of which remain today. The mill pond, located south of the intersection and east of Lake Road, serviced several area grist mills. This pond, no longer extant, was a prominent visual feature of the four corners area (another mill pond today exists further to the south, and the creek now meanders eastward before it reaches the old mill pond site). Given the level of transportation and light industrial activity in the early nineteenth century, Clarkson Corners must have been an extremely busy crossroads, with horses and oxen pulling both people and commercial products to their various destinations. This history is belied by the overwhelmingly residential character of the hamlet today.
In 1821, James Seymour, a Clarkson merchant, persuaded the canal commission to re-route the canal closer to Clarkson Corners and designate to Brockport the temporary western terminus rather than Rochester. Once the change was formally approved, Seymour and Hiel Brockway began purchasing land along the proposed canal route near Brockport, concentrating their commercial activities there. Clarkson Corners benefited from the close proximity of the canal and continued to prosper as a multifaceted transportation nexus. In addition to the ever-present taverns, gristmills and smithies, the corners boasted a creamery and carriage shop by 1850. This light industrial trend continued into the last half of the nineteenth century, as illustrated by an 1872 map and business directory, which lists such occupations as nurseryman, teamster, miller, blacksmith, farmer and cider manufacturer. In that year, a hotel was still located on the southwest corner of Ridge and Lake Roads, while a tannery operated to the north of the corners.
The routing of the canal south of the hamlet meant that Clarkson Corners would not sustain the kind of rapid growth that occurred in communities directly on the canal's route. However, the crossroads continued to experience growth based upon its advantages in transportation and water power. After 1840, Clarkson Corners began to attract lawyers and other professionals who fancied the area as a good residential location. The small hamlet acquired status as a "bedroom community" for Brockport. The siting of the town offices at the crossroads also ensured the viability of the community. Clarkson Corners was fully developed by about 1870 and the residential section of the hamlet has remained stable until the present time. With the coming of the automobile at the turn of the twentieth century, Clarkson Corners developed some small single proprietor businesses. This trend continues to the present day, while the surrounding area has become increasingly characterized by modern residential tract developments.
According to early maps, Clarkson Corners generally assumed its historic layout by c.1830. Residential construction peaked c.1870, although several late Victorian period dwellings replaced earlier residences during the 1880s and 90s. Commercial and industrial development was historically centered around the immediate crossroads and in an area southeast of the intersection that included the mill pond. Journeyman workers originally settled the hamlet by purchasing lots offered during the speculative land phase that occurred prior to final settlement of the Erie Canal route, and these settlers formed the backbone of the early community by providing necessary skills to service the larger surrounding agricultural community. Following 1840, the socio-economic basis of the community altered, when several relatively wealthy families chose Clarkson Corners as a desirable place to live away from the larger village of Brockport. As developed by 1870, Clarkson Corners contained a small commercial and industrial core surrounded by continuous rows of small residential lots with closely spaced dwellings of varying sizes and scales. The community also boasted a church, school, post office and town hall.
Clarkson Corners's extant building stock reflects an economic and social diversity, including a good mixture of brick and frame construction, with more modest one and one-half story dwellings situated adjacent to larger two and one-half story residences. In most areas, fairly well-to-do people lived right alongside journeyman workers on lots of identical size. The west side of Lake Road (south of the intersection) contains a continuous row of more substantial dwellings, mostly of brick. Several carriage houses survive behind this row, while garages are the most common outbuildings in the rest of the hamlet. Although some buildings have non-historic additions, the nineteenth-century crossroads configuration described above is readily apparent in the current appearance of the hamlet.
Despite the village's economic basis in industry and trade, only two resources associated with these function survive in the Clarkson Corners Historic District. These are Deat's Woodworking Shop at 3726 Lake Road (c.1850), a one-story cobblestone building (second floor removed at an unknown date) with a stucco front, and Galtro Auto, originally an apple drying shed (c.1900), distinguished by its unusual red-glazed concrete block construction.
The earliest building in Clarkson Corners is the Federal period dwelling at 3731 Lake Road, originally a tavern constructed at the crossroads in 1804 and moved to its current site in 1820. Although a rear frame wing was added in 1820, the north parlor was enlarged (date unknown) and trim around the window lintels was altered during the latter half of the nineteenth century, the building remains remarkably intact. Another 1820s era commercial building located on the northeast corner of Lake and Ridge Roads was torn down c.1990. Built in 1825, this building had been in continuous use as a general store for over 160 years until 1985, when it was damaged by fire.
Some of the most prominent Federal period dwellings in Clarkson Corners were constructed during the 1820s and 30s. Of particular note are the residences at 8251 Ridge Road (Albert Palmer House, c.1820), 8294 Ridge Road (c.1820), 8344 Ridge Road (c.1830), 8354 Ridge Road (c.1825), 8396 Ridge Road (Henry Selden House, c.1819), 8412 Ridge Road (Philip Boss House, c.1820), 3773 Lake Road (Fowler House, c.1829) and 3779 Lake Road (Simeon Jewett House, c.1828). The Congregational Church at 8339 Ridge Road (1825) was also constructed during this period.
The building at 8294 Ridge Road is distinguished by a side gable plan, wide clapboards and a plain classical door enframement; those at 8344 and 8354 feature similar side gable forms with three-bay facades and side hall plans; but they are brick rather than wood. The entrance at 8344 is a simple classical surround with sidelights and an elliptical transom. These glass elements have distinctive tracery patterns. The Selden House (8396 Ridge Road) has been altered by the addition of a Greek Revival period wing in c.1843 and a number of Italianate style elements in c.1885; the latter embellishments were recently removed, restoring the house to its earlier appearance. These changes over time provide evidence of the house's long history. Henry Selden, a noted western New York jurist, purchased the house form Abel Baldwin in 1843. Selden had married Baldwin's daughter, Laura, and this was her childhood home. Henry, active in state and national politics, was elected Lieutenant Governor of New York State in 1856. Henry Selden's son, George Baldwin Selden, was born in this house in 1846. George Selden invented the internal combustion engine and took a motor car patent in 1895. In 1906, the Selden Motor Car Company, located at 72 North Street in Rochester, began producing Selden's cars. George Selden and Henry Ford fought a celebrated sixteen-year patent infringement suit, which Ford finally won in 1916.
The brick dwelling at 8412 Ridge Road was constructed by Isaac Allen for Philip Boss in 1820. Boss, a locally noted cabinetmaker, occupied the home until 1830, when he removed to Rochester and began a career as a portraitist of some renown. Washington Rockwell, a three-term Clarkson town supervisor and later a member of the New York State Assembly, resided in the house from 1843-1867. Although a frame wing was added in 1856, the side gable dwelling remains remarkably intact to its original period, with inverted oval windows under each gable peak and a front door surround with leaded glass in the sidelights and rectangular transom.
The adjacent brick dwellings at 3773 and 3779 Lake Road were constructed one year apart, in 1829 and 1828, respectively. Similar in appearance, the buildings have three-bay facades with side hall plans. Both entrances have leaded glass sidelights and elliptical transoms. The residence at 3773 Lake Road has been somewhat altered with the addition of a c.1835 rear kitchen wing, a c.1840 full-width Doric order porch and c.1890 eave brackets, all contributing changes over time. Gustavus Clark, elected first Clarkson town clerk in 1819, built the house in 1829. Severally locally prominent citizens, including Austin Pinny, Charles Bellinger and Ernest Fowler, occupied the dwelling. Fowler ran a cooper shop located on the west side of the property behind the house. The adjacent residence at 3779 Lake Road was constructed by local builder Lemuel Haskell in 1828 for noted jurist and U.S. marshall for northern New York Simeon Jewitt. Jewitt occupied the dwelling for thirty years and was U.S. marshall under President Buchanan from 1856-1860. Although a rear frame addition was added during the nineteenth century and a contemporary one-bay entrance porch in 1985, the house retains substantial integrity, with many intact interior features, such as original trim, cherry staircase and brick fireplaces in the living room, dining room and kitchen. Exterior windows have flat stone sills and lintels.
Also from the 1820s is the Congregational Church at 8338 Ridge Road, which has been in continuous use as a house of worship since its construction in 1825. One of the earliest surviving churches in Monroe County, the building's design exhibits a New England influence, featuring a front gable configuration with a large, boxed-pedestal steeple above. The main block of the building is sheathed in flushboards and windows along the nave are round headed. Monumental pilasters typical of the late Federal period articulate the facade. The interior of the church retains much historic woodwork. Non-contributing wings extend to the rear of the chancel.
Between 1830 and 1850, a number of residences in the Greek Revival style were constructed in Clarkson Corners. Exemplifying the style to a high degree are those dwellings located at 8338 Ridge Road (the old parsonage, 1852), 3741 Lake Road (Bowman House, 1850), 3749 Lake Road (Lee-Duryea House, c.1840) and 3759 Lake Road (Haskell-Anselm House, c.1840). The old parsonage is a one-and-one-half story brick building with a main block, gable end facing the road, and side wing plan. The building is further characterized by the location of its main entrance in the side wing; the entrance is now obscured by a small enclosed porch. Windows have flat sills and brick lintels, while the cornice is articulated by a thick frieze. In contrast to the modest Greek Revival detail of the parsonage is the Bowman house, a regionally significant example of the fully developed Greek Revival style. John Bowman, son of Clarkson's first lawyer, Judge John Bowman, constructed the house in 1850 for his fiancee and reputedly disappeared to New York shortly after its completion. According to local lore, the son never returned to Clarkson Corners. The brick dwelling has a monumental portico, square cupola, brick pilasters, frieze windows and unusual modified Corinthian order capitals. Dentils appear under cornices and the side entrance is articulated below the pediment with triglyphs.
Adjacent to the Bowman house are the Lee-Duryea and Haskell-Anselm houses, both brick buildings constructed in c.1840. Both feature main block and wing plans; however, the Lee-Duryea House features a gable end to the street, with a three-bay, side-hall plan, while the Haskell-Anselm is five bays wide with a side gable to the street and a center entrance. The two buildings are further distinguished by their embellishment: on the Lee-Duryea house, the side wing features Greek Revival period details; however, on the Haskell-Anselm house, the side wing features an Italianate style porch. Both residences are distinctive examples of the Greek Revival style in Clarkson.
A good example of an institutional building from this period is the Clarkson Academy at 8343 Ridge Road (1853). Constructed on the site of an earlier school, the Clarkson Academy is a two-story three-bay by four-bay brick building, with bays separated by pilasters and windows with flat stone sills and lintels. The gable roof is articulated by a denticulated frieze below a boxed cornice and surmounted by a square wooden pedestal and an octagonal domed bell tower. This is the second Clarkson Academy to occupy this site. Its predecessor, constructed in 1825, was touted as the education center of western New York. Its mission was to train lawyers, ministers and teachers. After the first building burned in 1852, the current building was erected using local brick. Today, the vacant school building is owned by the adjacent Congregational church.
After 1850, the building boom in Clarkson Corners abated somewhat, and the tendency was the embellishment of older buildings with contemporary details. The roof of the Henry Selden house was raised to permit the addition of Italianate details such as paired brackets, while elaborate segmental arched hoods appeared over the windows and the porch received heavy molded columns (later removed). A porch in the Italianate style was added to the Greek Revival style Lee-Duryea house. Eave brackets appeared on the Fowler house in c.1890 and a spindle porch was added to the c.1820 residence at 8359 Ridge Road.
Late nineteenth century development in Clarkson was limited to a small group of residences, primarily wood-frame buildings with the familiar main block and wing form. In these later examples, however, main blocks usually project, with gable ends to the streets, and wings form cross gables. Again, entrances are usually through side wings and concealed or sheltered by small entrance porches, some enclosed. Examples of residences from the period c.1870-c.1890 are found at 8428 Ridge Road (c.1890), 3715 Lake Road (Downey house, c.1890), 3721 Lake Road (Hixson-Clark house, c.1877) and 3734 Lake Road (Randall house, c.1870). The latter is the only example in brick. Most have distinctive Victorian era decorative embellishment, such as the spindle porch on 8428 Ridge Road, the decorative vergeboards at 3715 Lake Road and the decorative vergeboard and lintels at 3721 Lake Road.
With the exception of the Clarkson Town Hall and the Gordon-Sagawa residence, the Clarkson Corners Historic District lacks examples of turn-of-the-century architecture. The town hall is a long, low building in the Neoclassical style. One-story-tall, the frame building is seven bays long with a center entrance, under a gable roof with an overscaled projecting portico supported by Doric columns. The roof and portico are articulated by modillion brackets and the roof is broken by small triangular dormers. The Gordon-Sagawa house is a two and one-half story Neoclassical style building with monumental porticoes and full-height bay windows. The front portico of the main block is pedimented with semi-circular fanlight windows. The pediment is supported by Ionic columns. There is a second level porch with balustrade over the front entrance. An open porch with flat roof supported by wooden piers is north of the main portico.
Although the Clarkson Corners Historic District has lost several of its historic commercial and light industrial resources, most of the historic residential and institutional buildings are extant. Historically, commercial and industrial buildings formed a small percentage of the overall area within the hamlet, and three of this type remain. The Clarkson Corners Historic District contains a large portion of those residential buildings extant in 1870 when the community assumed its final configuration, with only a few dwellings constructed after that date. The Clarkson Corners Historic District is a distinctive and well-preserved example of a crossroads community in western New York.
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