The Snow Drug Company Building was designed in the Second Empire style for a narrow street façade. Built in 1870, it has a slate mansard roof with circular dormer windows. Features such as arched window openings, contrasting colors, and incised ornamentation, illustrate post-Civil War architecture.
When this building was completed in 1870, it was the home of the Snow Drug Company, a business founded by Charles Wesley Snow. Snow started in the pharmacy business as a teenager, became a partner by age 19 and then opened his own retail store here in 1867. His business was identified by the large mortar and pestle which hung above the entrance – the traditional symbol for a druggist.
Snow eventually outgrew the Hanover Square location, so in 1888, he erected a much larger brick building on South Warren Street, behind the University Building. It is now part of the Merchants Common complex.
In later life, Snow also served as an officer with several local banks. His charitable vision led him to positions on the boards of the Onondaga Historical Association, Oakwood Cemetery, May Memorial Church and St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Snow was also active in civic affairs, including service with the commission that built Central High School in 1902, the corporation that erected Syracuse’s grand Onondaga Hotel in 1910 and the civic effort in 1913 to acquire the property that became Thornden Park. Snow was active until the end of his life in 1918. His personal estate was valued at $600,000, equal to over $7 million in today. Charles Wesley Snow is buried in Oakwood Cemetery.