The Larned Building, designed by Horatio White and erected in 1869, was one of the most prestigious office blocks in Syracuse for several decades. Originally, the building was crowned with a mansard roof, but this was altered in the early 1890s.
The window treatment still echoes the Second Empire style. The Larned Building was named for Capt. Samuel Larned who ran a boat line on the Erie Canal. He bought the site in 1830 and built a hotel which was eventually destroyed by fire. His sons built the present structure. When another fire destroyed the building’s interior, developers cleverly used the exterior façade to conceal a new parking garage.
This site originally was the home of the Tremont House Hotel and served travelers who arrived at the nearby railroad station in Vanderbilt Square. Part of the Granger Block, this building was built by Granger’s partner, Samuel Larned. He made his fortune selling supplies to passing boats from his own canal vessel. Larned was nicknamed the “Boat Vendor” and his boat was a “Floating Store.” He also built a hotel on the corner of Washington and Warren Streets. The hotel had a shady reputation and supposedly harbored thieves and swindlers who preyed on local farmers when they came to town to sell their products. The police nicknamed it the “Hellhole.” It burned in 1868 and Samuel’s sons built the Larned Building in honor of their father. While digging the foundation for the new building, they uncovered caches of jewelry and silverware probably left behind by the unsavory occupants of the hotel. The Larned became famous for its many social events until a fire ruined the interior spaces of the building. It was then creatively redesigned as a parking garage with retail space on the first floor.