The Dove Block

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Photo: Neil Sjoblom

The Dove Block was constructed in 1878 by William G. Dove, a brick-maker and contractor. The architect was Andrew Jackson Warner (1833-1910), a prominent architect in Rochester, New York. The three story structure has a cast iron storefront which is highly ornate. The Dove Block is significant historically and to the fabric of downtown Geneva:

  • Architecturally it is an excellent and intact example of a High Victorian commercial block.
  • Arthur Dove, son of the builder, was one of America’s abstract painters who lived and worked in the building’s third floor during his most prolific period.
  • It is the defining corner at the “gateway” to downtown Geneva.
    For more than a hundred years, the Dove Block served as a store-front for a number of Geneva’s businesses on the first floor. On the upper floors, at various times, it was an auditorium, a National Guard drill hall, a roller skating rink, a host for professional wrestling and boxing matches, a radio station, and a dance hall. For a time in the 1890s, the block was known as “Dove’s Opera House,” a performance venue for touring opera and acting troupes.

The group’s vision for the building’s reclamation has two key aspects. The plan is to allocate the first floor to commercial enterprises and a community art gallery dedicated to Arthur Dove. The second and third floors will be reserved for commercial and/or residential purposes.

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