Corridor facing away from main entrance inside sibley building.

Spending a night in the Sibley building.

The doors made a click as security locked the doors and disappeared into the night. I laid in my sleeping bag in the middle of a dusty empty floor. The steam pipes were clanging and the building was making strange creaking noises from the high winds outside. It was a dark and dreary night with the street lamps barely shining inside as the rain poured against the Windows from outside. As I looked around I imagined what the sibley building was like in its glory days when shoppers came from all over. Then the clock chimed and I snapped out of my trance. Or is this story just made up? Meet me under the clock and you’ll find out.
The Sibley building wasn’t always in this type of condition. Opened in 1905 it was once the largest department store between Chicago and New York City. In fact it was so upscale that it had a rooftop luxury lounge and innovative vacuum tubes to transport customers payments and reciepts.

Window inside sibley building looking out towards Main Street.
Window inside sibley building looking out towards Main Street.

Part of corridor in sibley building.
Part of corridor in sibley building.

Big area of corridor inside sibley building.
Big area of corridor inside sibley building.

Corridor facing away from main entrance inside sibley building.
Corridor facing away from main entrance inside sibley building.

Rainbow store inside sibley building.
Rainbow store inside sibley building.

Corridor heading towards exit inside sibley building.
Corridor heading towards exit inside sibley building.

Walking close to the sibley building clock.
Walking close to the sibley building clock.

Clock at the sibley building in Rochester ny
Clock at the sibley building in Rochester ny

A good view of how big the downstairs of the sibley building is.
A good view of how big the downstairs of the sibley building is.

A bunch of plants inside the sibley building.
A bunch of plants inside the sibley building.

Elevator inside the sibley building.
Elevator inside the sibley building.

About to leave the sibley building.
About to leave the sibley building.

Vacated hallway inside the sibley building.
Vacated hallway inside the sibley building.

Heading towards rotating doors inside sibley building.
Heading towards rotating doors inside sibley building.

Old fashioned heaters inside sibley building.
Old fashioned heaters inside sibley building.

Secret closed door at sibley building
Secret closed door at sibley building

Secret open door at sibley building.
Secret open door at sibley building

2 Replies to “Spending a night in the Sibley building.”

  1. The Sibley Clock and the elevators looked SOOOO much more impressive in the old days. The “going out of business sale”….somehow I ended up with a bag of odd doll parts from the toy department and one “midi” skirt – wine colored, real suede for $2.00. I figured the fabric could always be used for pillows if the skirt thing didn’t work out. Later, after most of the dust had settled and the building skinned back to the original dirt, one of the (pre)executives asked me what to do with a giant Waterford crystal chandelair . I didn’t know what to tell him! I’ve often wondered since then what happened to it…

    1. Shirley
      I love hearing stories like this so thank you so much for sharing it.
      That must have been a sad day when Sibleys closed for good. Do you think it will ever be full of retail again?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *