The Hotel Ontario

Thumbnail Image
Peacock, Randall F.
Woodfin, C. Daniel
Issue Date
Thesis (B. Arch.)
College of Architecture and Planning
Other Identifiers

This project is composed of three main elements: a 200 room hotel with associated banquet and recreational facilities, a retail and restaurant complex, and a 200 boat marina. This mix was chosen to provide a source of economic recovery for an area which is presently stabilized at an ebb of economic activity.The area's economy was historically based on the tourism trade. It was developed by the railroads in the late 1800's as a resort area. Ontario Beach Park was a privately owned amusement park and hotel complex. No less than three major hotels and many minor hotels dotted the site and surroundings.People came from as far away as St. Louis to spend time at the resort. They were brought by railway, trolley, and steamboat.These functions began to ebb as a result of the introduction of the automobile. People no longer had to stay in the area for long periods of time. Along with the automobile, a series of disasterous fires early in this century virtually eradicated the resort functions of the area. Those hotels which didn't burn, soon closed down. The City of Rochester purchased the lakefront land and created a new Ontario Beach Park which was a popular park until the 1960's when lake and river pollution became so severe that swimming was forbidden. In the past seven to eight years the park has experienced an upswing in usage due to the reopening of the beach for swimming.The site itself was purchased early in this century, and the Port of Rochester was created. The area served as a Great Lakes Port until the late 70's when it was shut down due to lack of use. Now it is largely vacant except for a small percentage of the warehouse space which is leased out.The time is ripe for the addition of a facility to the area again to boost the tourism trade to the forefront. The City of Rochester has been actively promoting its excellent tourism possibilities and has recently built a convention center to help draw in more people from around the state and country. There are presently plans on the board for the addition of 675 new hotel rooms in various developments around the city. It is speculated that even more will eventually be added.The main idea behind this project is the securing of a portion of the tourist traffic for this area along with a development of a magnet to draw even more local people to the lakefront.