Upcoming City landmark designation hearing

On Wednesday, July 19, the City of Rochester’s Preservation Board and Planning Commission will hold a special hearing to consider the historic campus of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School for City landmark designation. The campus is officially eligible for listing in the State and National Registers of Historic Places; city landmark designation would recognize the significance of the site and help ensure that future development efforts will be in keeping with the historic architecture and landscape.

The Landmark Society, along with a coalition of organizations that includes Highland Park Neighborhood Association, Highland Park Conservancy, Community Design Center Rochester, and Historic Brighton, supports the landmark designation of this highly significant historic campus.

Here is why we support landmark designation:

The buildings and designed landscape of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School constitute a distinctive and unique resource in the Upstate and Western New York region. Its picturesque hilltop setting is a special space, not only aesthetically, but also because it embodies a religious and cultural heritage whose influence extends worldwide.

In recognition of its significance, the Divinity School campus and the surrounding community will be well-served by it obtaining landmark designation by the City of Rochester Preservation Board and Planning Commission.

Landmark designation does not prevent development but will ensure that:

  • the critical architectural, landscape, and cultural features that give the campus its significance are codified in the landmark designation paperwork;
  • any future development will be reviewed by architecture, real estate, landscape and planning professionals on the City of Rochester’s Preservation Board;
  • the design review process invites participation by the whole community;
  • the property owner and the neighborhood can continue to reap the economic benefits of a picturesque and intact historic campus;
  • future development of the site is consistent with the design, scale and purpose of the original campus as envisioned by architect James Gamble Rogers and landscape architect Alling de Forest.

How can you help?

Make your voice heard.

  1. We encourage you to join your neighbors and representatives of local cultural heritage organizations at City Hall on July 19 at 7:00pm to support the nomination of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School campus to the list of City of Rochester landmarks. Other landmarks include: George Eastman House; Ontario Beach Carousel; Rochester City Hall; and the Powers Building. Take this opportunity to show city officials that this beautiful site is of enormous value to citizens from around the region, who urge its protection for generations to come.
  2. Written comments can also be submitted in advance to Peter Siegrist and Jill Wiedrick, Senior Planners with the City of Rochester. In-person comments are the most powerful but advance comments before the hearing will help prime the pump.
  3. Feel free to use our talking points above and/or information from the cover letters below but we also encourage you to personalize your letters and comments.
  4. Whether you plan to speak or not, attend the hearing and wear green to show your support for the historic campus and buildings.

Additional Resources

See the full application and contact information on the City of Rochester’s website 

Cover letter to Preservation Board – Submitted with the application for landmark designation, this letter addresses the specific criteria (as stipulated in section 120-193 of the City Code) that the Preservation Board members must use to address applications for landmark designation.

Cover letter to Planning Commission – Submitted with the application for landmark designation, this letter addresses the much more broad criteria (as stipulated in section 120-193 of the City Code) that the Planning Commission members must use to address applications for landmark designation.

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