Castle is Open for Business |

Castle is Open for Business

Alice Keefe
Updated: April 28, 2022 07:24 PM
Created: February 03, 2019 12:00 AM

(ABC 6 News) -- The long-awaited Castle Community Center in Rochester opened its doors and celebrated all weekend long.

The three-floor former senior center boasts an event space, artist studios, a book and records store, a coffee and juice bar, and the Cameo restaurant.

For former Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede, who played basketball when the building served as the armory more than 50 years ago, it’s a fantastic transformation.

“To see this, you know, life being brought back into this building is amazing,” he said.

Sunday’s celebrations included brunch provided by Cameo, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the musical talents of local legend Les Fields.

“He’s an institution in town. He’s in his 90's and he knows all the songs, knows everything, knows who’s on deck and all that,” Brede said.

Fields got the surprise of having the Castle’s 3rd-floor event center named in his honor Sunday.

Once a month, for at least a year, he’ll play a show at his titular venue.

“It’s a very welcoming place to be. Family-oriented, old, young alike,” said Kevin Adams, manager of Collective Books & Records, which is located on the Castle’s 2nd floor.

While the space houses new businesses, the building’s exterior has remained the same.

“It’s still that very historic building. 103 years old today,” Brede said.

On February 3, 1916, the building was dedicated as the armory.

“People have been walking through the doors some never having been here before some having all kinds of history in this space,” said Naura Anderson, director of Threshold Arts.

The Castle, dedicated as a space for the community and the arts, is just the building’s next chapter.

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