Central Church / Hochstein Music School

The traditional structure of Central Church -- minus the wooden steeples -- can be seen at right behind the later entranceway. At left is a later addition (contempo- raneous with the the added entranceway before the church structure), now the principal performance space of the Hochstein Music School.
Type: Unmarked Location Involved: Douglass, Frederick
Location: 50 Plymouth Avenue North
Rochester, NY
Cause: Abolition

Escaped slave and abolitionist campaigner Frederick Douglass died of a heart attack in Washington, D. C., on February 10, 1895. It had been arranged that Douglass’s body would be interred in Rochester, where he had lived and worked for some 25 years before moving to the nation’s capital.

Following funeral and memorial services in Washington, Douglass’s remains were conveyed to Rochester. On February 26, 1895, a memorial service was held at what was then the city’s Central Church. After the service, an honor guard escorted the remains and the mourners to Mount Hope Cemetery for interment in a well-marked grave most popular with visitors to this picturesque Victorian memorial park.

In later years the old Central Church was expanded and reconfigured as the Hochstein Music School, in which role it has well served the cultural life of Rochester.

Located well northwest of its historically proper position, a city historical marker slightly misidentifies the location of the home of Quaker activists Isaac and Amy Post, also the office of the Western New York Anti-Slavery Society.