Before he left to serve in the Civil War, Daniel Heaney purchased an empty lot on the corner of Broadway and Zumbro Street. When Capt. Heaney returned, he sold some of his government bonds, and, along with his uncle George Moon, formed the D. Heaney Company and began improvement to their property.

In April of 1866, ground was broken for what would become the largest building in Rochester at the time. From the billiard hall in the basement to the opera hall on the third floor, architect W.W. Boyington, of Chicago, used only the finest materials in the 100-by-110-foot building's design.

When the building opened on Jan. 10, 1867, it was fully rented. The corner was later purchased by Hiram T. Horton.

On Jan. 11, 1917, 50 years and one day after it opened, the Horton block and the 18 businesses it housed were destroyed in the greatest fire ever witnessed in Rochester.

“Lens on History” is a weekly photo feature by Lee Hilgendorf, a volunteer at the History Center of Olmsted County.

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