Best of 2016: Preservation Successes in WNY

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It’s that time of year, when pundits, news outlets, and TV shows look back on the year in review, when  Facebook and Twitter feeds are filled with best-of lists. So why not jump on the bandwagon? Here’s our look back at 2016 with our Top 12 (we couldn’t limit ourselves to just 10!) preservation successes.

Thank you to everyone who supports our work; together we can make a difference in communities across WNY. You can continue to support successes in your community by donating to our 2016 Annual Fund.

Here’s to many more successes in 2017!

1. Lyons saves 2 buildings and creates new historic district

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Arsenau House before rehab and repairs began

Local preservation advocates in the former village of Lyons rallied this past summer to save two historic buildings slated for demolition. Wayne County officials proposed to demolish the Arsenau House and the Park Bakery, two prominent buildings in the center of the village, facing the public square. With advice from Landmark Society staff, preservationists were able to convince Wayne County to offer the properties at public auction before moving towards demolition. The buildings were acquired by local residents and are in the process of being rehabilitated.

Arsenau House, after an exterior paint job and repairs

Arsenau House, after an exterior paint job and repairs

With assistance from Landmark Society staff, the Lyons Main Street Program successfully applied for funding to create a new National Register Historic District in the downtown commercial core. National Register listing will allow property owners to take advantage of the NYS and Federal historic tax credit programs.Work is well underway and the district should be in place in 2017.

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2. Food truck zone at St. Joseph’s Park

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Working with the City of Rochester, we were able to establish an official food truck zone right outside of St. Joseph’s Park. Partnering with our friends at Staach, we celebrated with a cleanup day and poutine from Le Petite Poutine. Earlier in the summer, Staach and Weld Works, LLC also worked with us to fabricate brand new benches for the park. Thanks to Staach, Weld Works, Rochester Downtown Development Corporation, the City of Rochester, the Rochester Police Department, and all those who have supported our work to improve St. Joseph’s Park and make it a downtown destination!

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3. Sunset Concerts play at Landmark Society sites

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This summer, the folks at Sunset Concerts expanded their programming to all three of our historic sites. Evening concerts at St. Joseph’s Park, Stone-Tolan Historic Site, and Ellwanger Garden attracted new crowds to these irreplaceable historic spaces.

4. Celebrate City Living launched

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Working with our partners in the Rochester Coalition for Neighborhood Living (which includes the City of Rochester, M&T Bank, Ibero-American Development Corp, The Housing Council at PathStone, NeighborWorks® Rochester, Citizens Bank, Greater Rochester Association of  Realtors, Game Plan Marketing, ROC City Realty, New2U Homes, Hart’s Local Grocers and Magellan Realty), we launched a new program designed to promote city living, housing, and neighborhoods. Celebrate City Living is a year-round program to encourage city residency for consumers at every stage of the housing search, including renters, first-time homebuyers, experienced owners, those who require financial assistance and those seeking high-end, luxury spaces.

The CCL website (www.celebratecityliving.com), along with the annual Celebrate City Living Expo in April and other neighborhood celebrations throughout the year, help consumers search city neighborhoods for a house or apartment and connect them to available resources, including REALTORS®, landlords, lenders, and non-profit agencies that specialize in city housing.

Follow along with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

5. YUPs join Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists

Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists meetup in Buffalo

Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists meetup in Buffalo

This past spring, the YUPs were proud to join a new coalition of young preservationist groups from across the Rust Belt (and beyond). Meetups took place in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Cincinnatti. The Coalition has fostered collaboration and friendships. Learn more on the RBCoYP blog and follow along on Instagram.

Inspired by fellow RBC members, the YUPs also held the first heart bombing event. (Never heard of heart bombing? Click here to learn more). Despite the exceptionally frigid temps, the event was a great success! The YUPs partnered with the Lincoln Branch Library to teach kids about the value that historic buildings can have in their community and how vacant buildings can be turned around to become assets to the community. We’ll be heart bombing again February 11, 2017–stay tuned for details!

6. East Main Street Downtown Historic District completed

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Photo: Gina DiBella

The Landmark Society completed the National Register nomination for the East Main Street Downtown Historic District. The district encompasses a five-block area on the east side of the Genesee River in downtown Rochester, including one of our 2015 Five to Revive listings, the E. Main St./N. Clinton Ave. retail district. Although the heart of the district is East Main Street, portions of streets that extend north and south with contiguous historic properties are included: Mortimer Street, Division Street, Franklin Street, Pleasant Street, Atlas Street, Achilles Street and Liberty Pole Way.

The district was approved by the State Review Board in the fall and will be sent to the National Park Service for final approval shortly. With this listing, nearly 30 properties can now access the historic tax credit programs, which should help spur the ongoing revitalization of the downtown core.

7. Geneva receives Downtown Revitalization Initiative

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Downtown Geneva was selected as the winner of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative in the Finger Lakes region. Over the last decade, Geneva has emerged as a major employment center, boasting over 200 firms and nearly 1,500 jobs in the central business district alone. Geneva’s historic walkable downtown is poised to become a vibrant retail, dining, cultural and entertainment destination for the burgeoning workforce and for students at the three local colleges. Under the DRI, the City will focus on the rehabilitation of key buildings; diversification of housing and retail options; access to healthy food; and building entrepreneurship in the downtown area.

We’ll be partnering with local leaders in Geneva to facilitate the rehabilitation of downtown historic buildings, including our 2016 Five to Revive, the Dove Block.

8. LGBTQ Initiative launched

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In August, we announced the launch of our newest initiative–a Rochester LGBTQ Landmarks Survey. The survey will identify landmarks of significance in the history of Rochester’s LGBTQ community and recognize their importance both historically and culturally.

9. Landmark Travel Tours goes to Cuba!

Our travel tour program left the country for this first time in years to journey to Cuba. It was an educational, jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring trip at a time when the country is undergoing significant changes. We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…

 

10. Conference goes to Albany

Photo: Chris Brazee

Photo: Chris Brazee

For the first time ever, our Statewide Preservation Conference ventured outside western New York to the Capital Region to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. Partnering with our colleagues at Historic Albany Foundation, the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, and the Preservation League of NYS, we again had record-setting attendance, with just under 350 preservationists from across the state.

11. Phase 1 of Citywide survey completed

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Working on behalf of the City of Rochester, with funding from the City and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, we completed the first phase of a multi-year project to update a 1986 historic resources survey of the city of Rochester. As part of this first, pilot phase, we surveyed historic resources (buildings, parks, structures, and neighborhoods) in the city’s southeast quadrant. This project was an outgrowth of a past Five to Revive listing–the city’s Designated Buildings of Historic Value. Pending funding for future phases, we hope to continue this important work to document and catalog Rochester’s historic places.

12. Eastman Dental Dispensary saved

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Eastman Dental Dispensary before rehab.

What could be more appropriate to cap off our year of preservation successes than one of the biggest success stories in recent history? Built in 1917, the former Eastman Dental Dispensary had been vacant since the 1980s. It remained one of the most prominent at-risk historic buildings in the city until Home Leasing and Edgemere Development took on the $20 million rehab project. Now known as Eastman Gardens, the rehabilitated building provides affordable housing for seniors. The project recently received a NY State Historic Preservation Award.

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Eastman Gardens, after rehab.

 

Of course, none of these successes would be possible without the support of our members, donors, sponsors, tour-goers, and the community at large. So THANK YOU for supporting our work to protect irreplaceable historic places and revitalize communities.

You can continue to support our work across the region by making a contribution to our 2016 Annual Fund. 

 

Good news for Five to Revive

Hillside Cemetery and Chapel receives funding from NYS REDC

Last week, we had fantastic news about one of our 2014 Five to Revive properties, the Hillside Cemetery and Chapel in Orleans County: the Town of Clarendon was awarded $126,210 from the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council to help fund much-needed repairs to the Cemetery Chapel. Funding will come through the NYS Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation.

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Since its inclusion on the Five to Revive, Landmark staff have been working with local preservation advocates and Town of Clarendon officials to find funding for repairs to the Chapel, to draw attention to the site, and to find creative, economically viable new uses for the building. The grant project will restore the non-denominational chapel and help repurpose it for new, public uses. Anticipated uses include: concerts, historical and art exhibits, and lectures.

Our hats go off to the preservationists (most notably Orleans County resident, Erin Anheier who was also instrumental in saving the Clarendon Stone Store) who have spearheaded this effort. Irreplaceable historic resources like this could not be saved without their hard work and determination.

For more information, check out Tom Rivers’ article about the grant at the Orleans Hub.

Cattaraugus County Memorial & Historical Building

Two weeks ago, Landmark staff and preservation advocates with the group Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (CAMP) were blindsided by an announcement from the Department of Public Works Committee of the Cattaraugus County legislature informing us that there would be no further discussion about reuse of the Memorial Building and that a resolution for demolition would be put before the full legislature the following week.

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Luckily, CAMPers were able to quickly rally the support of some key legislators and the vote to demolish was defeated last week. For more information, check out these two articles by Rick Miller in the Olean Times Herald.

County pulls the plug on C.A.M.P. preservation efforts

Lawmakers grant reprieve to Civil War Monument

As one of our current Five to Revive, Landmark staff are actively working with CAMP members to save this unique building that was constructed to honor veterans of the Civil War. Our Preservation Grant Fund helped fund a preservation plan for the property and we continue to advocate for a thorough and well-reasoned exploration of economically viable new uses.

We are hopeful that the County will be open to considering alternatives. In the meantime, it is important that County legislators hear from their constituents that this is an important issue. If you are a resident of Cattaraugus County, please reach out to your legislators and let them know that you don’t want to see taxpayer money used to demolish an irreplaceable veterans war memorial. If you know someone who is a resident of Cattaraugus County, please encourage them to contact their County representatives.

Wollensack Optical Company building on the market

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This former factory building on Hudson Avenue in the city of Rochester has just recently hit the market. Although the building has been long-vacant, it is ripe for adaptive reuse. It is listed with Michael Quinn of Mission Commercial Realty. Click here to see the listing.

Inside Downtown Tour 2015

Washington Square and More!
Proudly sponsored by Winn Development

The Inside Downtown Tour opens up urban environments where folks are creating exciting spaces to live and work.  We visit re-purposed spaces, renovated homes, lovingly preserved places, and newly built sites that are designed with sensitivity to the overall built environment. Basically, we get you “in” on the latest urban living trends.  This year’s tour will focus on the Washington Square area, plus several satellite locations. You’ll get to visit trendy condominiums, artists lofts, a landmark Bragdon designed church – even a behind the scenes theatre tour.

>>Click here for Ticketing and complete details. 

Inside Downtown Tour 2015

Washington Square and More!
Proudly sponsored by Winn Development

The Inside Downtown Tour opens up urban environments where folks are creating exciting spaces to live and work.  We visit re-purposed spaces, renovated homes, lovingly preserved places, and newly built sites that are designed with sensitivity to the overall built environment. Basically, we get you “in” on the latest urban living trends.  This year’s tour will focus on the Washington Square area, plus several satellite locations. You’ll get to visit trendy condominiums, artists lofts, a landmark Bragdon designed church – even a behind the scenes theatre tour.

>>Click here for Ticketing and complete details. 

Progress on Main Street in Attica

Posted by Kelsey Habla, Landmark Society Summer Intern

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There are big things happening in the small Village of Attica and last week we got the chance to visit a couple of exciting renovation projects downtown. The first is an innovative reuse project that was just recently completed by property owner, Bruce Camp. The American Hall building, built in 1872, by David C. Scott, is a two-story, three-bay, brick construction on Market Street. Above the historic storefront, the second floor features windows with elaborate brick lintels, and cast stone keystones and quoins. The original woodwork on the cornice, once covered by a sign-board, was unveiled and restored, giving the building some real character. The American Hall is now home to Attica Auto, where a retail store occupies the first floor, and offices reside above. The second floor also contains a large community room complete with a large screen television, for groups to hold meetings and various activities. It is an excellent use of the space and has been quite successful thus far.

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Merchandise displayed inside the storefront of Attica Auto

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Airy and open office spaces on the second floor looking out onto Market Street

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Bruce Camp – property owner and initiator of these two outstanding projects

Bruce Camp, the owner and man responsible for the successful renovation of the American Hall building, is now taking on another challenge just down the road on Main Street. The three-story, brick building was constructed in 1867 along with its neighbors but the facade and detailed parapet were later added in 1912. It was then expanded to establish a banking institution – which remained there until 1967. The entry consists of a monumental column and pediment, with an elaborate cast-stone frieze which reads Citizen’s Bank.

The former Citizen’s Bank building has had a rocky history over the past few decades. In 1998, a developer partially renovated the first floor, with a coffee shop that never took hold. After the roof collapsed one winter, the building sat vacant for 4-5 years. However, things are looking up for this old building. A restaurateur has just opened a lovely cafe – The Prospector, on the first floor, and Bruce Camp is working hard on the upper floors to convert the space into apartments. There will be a total of three apartments, each with inventive layouts and original historic features; one has already been rented! Bruce has utilized Main Street Grants as well as State and Federal Tax Credits to complete the two projects, which he estimates cost a combined $1 million. We can’t wait to see the finished product!

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The former Citizen’s Bank building on Main Street

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Storefront windows of the newly restored Prospector cafe look out onto Main Street

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A look at one of the apartments which features an original fireplace and metal plated ceiling

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A leaded glass window in the stairway, just one of the many beautiful, original windows throughout the building

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Stairs that lead to the second floor of this two-story apartment – an interesting feature

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A view down Market Street from the roof, visible from the interior of all three apartments

summer intern KelseyKelsey Liz Habla is an Architecture major at the University at Buffalo, entering her senior year. She is from Fonda, NY and is an intern this summer at the Landmark Society and Bero Architecture.

WHERE THE #&@% AM I?™ Kickoff Party at Cure

TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT.

The Landmark Society and the Young Urban Preservationists present WHERE THE #&@% AM I?™ Kickoff Party at Cure on Wednesday, August 5th. WHERE THE #&@% AM I?™ is a network of historic bars, pubs, and local watering holes. The buildings that they inhabit have lived many lives and have many untold stories to tell. WHERE THE #&@% AM I?™ connects you, the patron, to these places and to a sampling of their stories. It’s not a history lesson; it’s a random amalgamation of titillating tidbits; a series of snippets; a window onto the power of change.

Join us for a casual kickoff party on Wednesday, August 5th outside Cure at the Public Market. Tickets are $20 and include a drink and snacks. Purchase your tickets below.

Wednesday, August 5th | 7-10 PM | Cure, 50 Public Market | Tickets: $20


Tickets: $20

Includes a drink and snacks.


 

The Kickoff Party is sponsored by:

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Rohrbach

Session Profile: Out of the Gallery and Onto the Streets

The 2015 New York Statewide Preservation Conference theme is The Art of Preservation: Painting Your Community’s Future. Join us at our conference headquarters, the restored Smith Opera House in the Finger Lakes city of Geneva as we explore the role that the arts can play in helping us revitalize buildings and communities. We’ll also explore historic preservation as an art form unto itself–each building, each landscape, each community that we seek to revive requires a unique approach involving partnerships, funding sources and creative problem-solving.

This session fits perfectly with our theme, combining the arts, historic preservation, community revitalization, and adaptive reuse into one fabulous story. Each of the speakers in this exciting session will provide insight into creative community placemaking and restoring communities using art, technology and hard work.

Speaker Profiles:

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Image courtesy Jonathan Rutherford

Erich S. Lehman is co-curator and lead organizer for the WALL\THERAPY mural project, based in Rochester, NY. He is also the owner and curator of 1975 Gallery and a member of the Sweet Meat Co. art collective. At his core, Erich is an artist/designer/tech geek/workaholic who simply finds the world far too interesting to sit still for long.

 

 

 

Image courtesy Mark Deff

Image courtesy Mark Deff

Image courtesy Mark Deff

Image courtesy Mark Deff

Maarten Jacobs, MSW, is the Director of the Near Westside Initiative (NWSI), a nonprofit organization working to combine the power of art, technology, and innovation with neighborhood values and culture to revitalize Syracuse’s Near Westside. In that role over the past four years, Maarten has worked diligently to ensure that the neighborhood residents of the Near Westside are actively engaged in the revitalization taking place in their neighborhood and ensuring that the community’s best interests are always represented. Similarly, with a personal passion for the arts, Maarten has pushed the Near Westside Initiative to be a truly place-based initiative with a focus on implementing creative placemaking as a fundamental strategy for economic and community development.

In addition to his work with the Near Westside Initiative, he teaches Community Economic Development at the Syracuse University School of Social Work. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology and a Master’s degree in Social Work with a concentration in Community Development and Social Action from the University of Maryland.

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Image courtesy of Near Westside Initiative

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Courtesy of The Yards

Erika Ruegemer, a native of Minnesota, is co-founder and director of One Dance Company New York. She began her dance training at age five with Dyan Ferrell, a former Rockette, and son Michael Matthew Ferrell, choreographer of The Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Erika received her BA in dance from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. She has danced with ARENADances (Minneapolis, MN), PUSH Physical Theatre (Rochester, NY), FuturPointe Dance (Rochester, NY) and gloATL (Atlanta, GA). Erika actively contributes to Flower City Ballet, THE YARDS collaborative art space, WALL/THERAPY, The Possibility Project, and Hochstein School of Music and Dance. She is inspired to awaken Rochester, New York one community at time.

Sarah C. Rutherford is a painter, muralist, Sweet Meat Co member and illustrator. She is also co-founder of THE YARDS Collaborative Art Space and a WALL\THERAPY Team member. Follow Sarah on Instagram and Twitter at @msshaftway.

>>Click here to return to the main Conference page to purchase your tickets!

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Feeling social? Stay up to date on Conference happenings and share your thoughts using the hashtag #NYPresConf on Facebook and Twitter.

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Special Citation: Stantec Consulting Services

The Landmark Society’s 2014 Preservation Awards will be presented this year at a special event on Sunday, November 16 at 3:00 p.m. in Rochester’s historic City Hall, the spectacular Richardsonian Romanesque landmark located downtown at 30 Church Street. The Awards are given each year to individuals and organizations in our nine-county area who have made outstanding efforts in the preservation of their homes, historic properties, and landscapes. In anticipation of the upcoming Awards Ceremony we will be featuring some of this year’s award winners.

A Special Citation provides recognition for projects that do not fit into other categories or recognizes outstanding individual or group accomplishments in the field of historic preservation.

Stantec Consulting Services
61 Commercial Street, city of Rochester

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Image courtesy of Stantec Consulting Services

This historic c. 1890 industrial building was originally designed as the power house for the Rochester Railway Company. At  the facility – one of the first of its kind – electricity was generated by harnessing the power of the Genesee River as it was diverted through Brown’s Race. By the late 20th century, the building became a storage space, manufacturing facility, then two short-lived entertainment venues.

Norry Management Company acquired the building in 2006, and together with Stantec Consulting Services, they rehabilitated this signature property using the Federal and State Investment Tax Credit program available for the renovation of income-producing buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Working with the NYS Office of Historic Preservation and the Rochester Preservation Board, the principles created a project that restored historic details, but also created dramatic new work spaces in the spacious interior. Window openings, long in-filled with brick, were reactivated, allowing daylighting throughout the interior. The design also included sustainable technologies and practices which earned LEED Certified status.

Barber Conable Award: The Academy Building

The Landmark Society’s 2014 Preservation Awards will be presented this year at a special event on Sunday, November 16 at 3:00 p.m. in Rochester’s historic City Hall, the spectacular Richardsonian Romanesque landmark located downtown at 30 Church Street. The Awards are given each year to individuals and organizations in our nine-county area who have made outstanding efforts in the preservation of their homes, historic properties, and landscapes. In anticipation of the upcoming Awards Ceremony we will be featuring some of this year’s award winners.

The Barber Conable Award recognizes a large-scale rehabilitation of an historic building in our region completed within the past two years. This includes buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places and projects utilizing the Federal Investment Tax Credit Program.

The Academy Building:
13 South Fitzhugh Street, City of Rochester

The Academy Building                                                                           Photo by Richard Margolis

 

This year’s recipient of our major preservation award is the Academy Building. Erected in 1873 as the city’s first public high school, this remarkable High Victorian Gothic building was designed by renowned Rochester architect Andrew Jackson Warner and is unique in the region. Its sophisticated features, polychrome building materials, and picturesque design are hallmarks of this distinctive style. Long the headquarters of the Rochester Board of Education and later rehabilitated into commercial offices in the late 1970s, this signature building has been vacant and seeking a new owner in recent years.

The challenging project returned the building to a new use as 21 loft-style apartments and retail space. Listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, the building was rehabilitated using the Federal Investment Tax Credit program and design review by the NYS Office of Historic Preservation. This $7,000,000 project was completed by owner and developer George Traikos, with project architect Blake Held and consulting services by Bero Architecture, PLLC.

Button Lofts near completion

The Landmark Society’s Wayne Goodman recently got a sneak peek at two exciting rehab projects being completed by developer DHD Ventures–the adaptive use of the National Clothing Company building on Main Street into a Hilton Garden Inn and the Button Lofts project at Rutgers and Monroe Ave. Set to open in November, the Button Lofts project is nearing completion and we couldn’t be more excited! As you’ll see in the before and after photos below, this building has truly transformed–from an empty hulk of a building with blocked-in windows to a vibrant and functional space. Yet another preservation success story in the ongoing revitalization of the city we call home!

Take a look at the pictures below and, if you want to see more, check out one of the Button Lofts open houses on Saturdays. Follow the Button Lofts & Townhomes on Facebook for more photos and info.

Here’s the former Shantz Button Factory pre-rehab, just a little over a year ago:

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And here it is brought back to its former glory. What a difference some nice windows and a fresh coat of paint make! Notice the new sign that went up this past weekend.

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Here’s a view of the rear elevation from Rutgers St.:

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The new lofts are lit by enormous windows with amazing, panoramic views of Rochester.

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Just look at the size of this window opening:

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Each unit is unique but, in addition to the eye-popping views, they all have that industrial feel to them (with high ceilings, exposed ductwork, large wooden beamsposts, exposed beams and brick) that make adapted industrial spaces so appealing.

Ummm, a bathtub in front of these windows? With a view of Pinnacle Hill? Yes, please.

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In keeping with the bath theme, here’s a shower with subway tile and an industrial steel window. Who couldn’t use more natural light in the shower?

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This is one of the (partially finished) unique spaces created out of the one-story loading docks on the rear of the factory building. They feature multi-level lofted spaces.

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Curious about the Button Lofts name? This building and the two smaller brick buildings around it were built between 1903 and 1920 by Moses B. Shantz as a button factory complex. The Shantz Button Factory is one of only two surviving early twentieth century button manufacturing plants in Rochester.

Kudos to the project architect, Peter Wehner, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Associate and Senior Project Architect for Passero Associates (whose offices also happen to be in a superb adaptive use project)!