Patrick Barry House Collection

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Patrick Barry House collection
Call Number: UA63
Dates: 1959-1985
Physical Description: 1.39 Cubic feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: University of Rochester Archives

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Related Materials
Content List
Box 4 692 Mt. Hope Antique/Art Collection, August 2007
Collection Overview
Title: Patrick Barry House collection
Call Number: UA63
Dates: 1959-1985
Physical Description: 1.39 Cubic feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: University of Rochester Archives

Biographical/Historical Note
The Patrick Barry House at 692 Mount Hope Avenue was built in 1855 by Patrick Barry, co-owner of the famous Ellwanger and Barry nursery. He had arrived in Rochester from Long Island fifteen years previously to work with George Ellwanger, who had purchased the nursery from its founders W.A. Reynolds and Michael Bateman. Its original name was the Rochester Seed Store and Horticultural Repository.

Designed by architect Gervase Wheeler, the style of the Barry House is that of a modified Italian villa of rose brick and limestone trim. It was given to the University of Rochester in May 1963 by the heirs of Harriet Barry Liesching, Patrick Barry's daughter who lived in the home until her death in 1951. According to family spokesman Peter Barry, a former Rochester mayor, the decision was influenced by University's "[I]nterest and enthusiasm for preserving and restoring the Barry House [as] a tremendous source of satisfaction to all of us, for we believe that far too many fine old homes have been torn down or ruined by adaptation to other uses. The University's proposal for bringing the house to life again as a private residence is one of the rare examples of what our family would like to see happen more often. We feel that the University's plans indicate its strong community awareness and its continuing commitment to the City of Rochester."

Elizabeth Holahan, then chairwoman of the board of the Society for the Preservation of Landmarks in Western New York, was selected as the University's advisor for the restoration and remodelling project. According to Holahan, the Barry House is likely the country's best example of the Italian villa style of the Victorian period, as the one comparable residence, located in Bridgeport, Connecticut, had been recently raised despite protests from art and antiquarian groups.

Holahan's meticulous renovation ran from 1964-65. The University maintained the appearance of the exterior and purchased many original home furnishings from the Estate of Frederick Barry. The landscaping was as of special historical importance, as Patrick Barry and his descendants had planted on the property some of the finest specimen trees from the Ellwanger and Barry nursery. Many of the trees are still living and nationally known in horticultural circles.

In 1969 restored library and parlor of the Barry House were selected by Helen Comstock, a top authority on furniture and antiques, to appear in her book 100 Most Beautiful Rooms in America. The home also appeared in Dorothy and Richard Pratt's 1956 book A Guide to Early American Homes - North. Its first post-restoration occupants were University President Robert Sproull and his wife Mary Sproull. Today it is the residence of the University Provost, having undergone a second renovation in 2008.

Scope and Content
The collection contains a great deal of information about Elizabeth Holahan's restoration and the many group tours hosted by the Sproulls.

Architecture--Conservation and restoration
Records and correspondence
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Barry House Collection was transferred on October 15, 1999.Access
For access to this collection, please contact the University of Rochester Archives ( at least two business days prior to your planned visit.

Please note: Some materials may be restricted or require permission for use.

To request reproductions or permission to publish materials from the collection, please contact the University of Rochester Archives ( Researchers may be responsible for determining any copyright questions.

[Item title, item date], Patrick Barry House collection, UA63, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of RochesterRelated Materials
Additional photographs of the Barry House may be found in the University Photograph Archives collection.

Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: University of Rochester Archives
Address: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation
River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
500 Joseph C. Wilson Blvd.
Rochester, New York 14627-0055

Content List
Box 1, Folder 1Clippings, 1970-1981
Box 1, Folder 2Clippings re: Andre Stein piano, 1927
Box 1, Folder 3Correspondence, 1964-1985
Box 1, Folder 4Dishes, 1959-1979
Box 1, Folder 5"The Ellwanger and Barry Story", 1971
Box 1, Folder 6Events at the Barry House, 1970-1971
Box 1, Folder 7Financial, 1970-1984
Box 1, Folder 8Fortepiano, 1980
Box 1, Folder 9Freezer, undated
Box 1, Folder 10Furnishings, circa 1963-1969
Box 1, Folder 11Furnishings, undated
Box 1, Folder 12General information
Box 1, Folder 13Aerial drawing of 692 Mt. Hope Avenue, undated
Box 1, Folder 14Interior - Miscellaneous, 1969-1971
Box 1, Folder 15Invoices, 1977
Box 1, Folder 16Invoices: Holahan, 1964-1974
Box 2, Folder 1Jamison-Schindler Corporation, 1968
Box 2, Folder 2Landmark designation request, 1969
Box 2, Folder 3Landmark Society description, 1969, revised 1979
Box 2, Folder 4Miscellaneous
Box 2, Folder 5Photographs
Box 2, Folder 6Plants, undated
Box 2, Folder 7Preservation District, undated
Box 2, Folder 8Restoration, 1965-1966
Box 2, Folder 9Rochester Garden Club Tour, 1982
Box 2, Folder 10Smith College Club of Rochester tour, 1981
Box 2, Folder 11Society of Architectural Historians tour, 1982-1983
Box 2, Folder 12Society for the Preservation of Landmarks in Western New York brochures, circa 1965-1966
Box 2, Folder 13Thank-you messages, 1971-1982
Box 2, Folder 14"University of Rochester President's House" Booklet and Photographs, undated
Box 2, Folder 15Utilities, 1979
Box 2, Folder 16Williamson Heating and Cooling, circa 1961
Box 3, Folder 1Blueprints, undated
Box 3, Folder 2Blueprints, 1965
Box 3, Folder 3Blueprints, 1974
Box 3, Folder 4Barry and Ellwanger family trees, undated
Box 3, Folder 5Utilities construction photographs, undated
Box 4692 Mt. Hope Antique/Art Collection, August 2007

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