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)!

Progress at the Clarendon Stone Store

It was just about a year ago that the Town of Clarendon officially handed the keys to the 1836 Clarendon Stone Store over to its new owners, Joe and Sue Fertitta. (The Landmark Society partnered with the Town and local preservation advocates to market and sell the vacant property.) Since then, the Fertitta’s have been hard at work bringing this property back to its former glory.

Work on the interior (which had to be gutted and required new electric, plumbing and HVAC) is moving along. Even more exciting though for those who drive through this busy intersection is the progress on the exterior. The porch has been rebuilt to match its historic appearance; the front windows and door have been reconfigured to bring back the look of a storefront; and, as you can see below, Joe has been working on repairing and painting the trim. We can’t wait to see the final result!

Clarendon Joe painting store

Town Historian, Melissa Ierlan, also worked with a local artist to recreate a historic sign that historic photos show once hung above the Store’s porch. The sign was painted and donated by local artist Carol Culhane. Joe and Sue plan to hang it right where it used to be.

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Our hats go off to the Fertitta’s and all of the dedicated preservationists in Clarendon who have worked so hard to make this success a reality!

 

At Risk Again: 660 W Main

Attend the Zoning Board of Appeals Hearing
Thursday, July 17
Arrive by 11:30-12 p.m.
(This is the last item on the agenda, case #12. Case 8 will begin at 11:30 a.m.)
City Hall – 3rd floor, City Council Chambers
View the ZBA Agenda

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photo courtesy Mike Governale, Rochester Subway

Background

The former church building at 660 West Main Street in the city of Rochester was constructed c.1870 and was originally home to the Westminster Presbyterian Church. In 1914, it became the home of the Liederkranz Club who occupied it until about 1974. Most recently, the church was owned and used by another religious congregation. The congregation sold the property in 2011 and it has sat vacant and largely unmaintained since that time. Under the City of Rochester’s Zoning Code, 660 West Main is a Designated Building of Historic Value (DBHV).

City Code prohibits the demolition of a DBHV, however, property owners can apply for a variance from the code to allow demolition. The Zoning Board of Appeals considers such applications.

In November, 2012, the owner applied for a variance to demolish this DBHV, proposing to replace it with generic new construction (a sideways strip mall) that would house a Dollar General. The owner also argued that the building should not be on the DBHV list. The ZBA denied the application for a variance and concurred with our opinion that there was no reason to remove the building from the DBHV list.

As of summer 2014, the owner has filed another application for demolition and proposes to replace the historic building with a new single story commercial building (click on the links below to see renderings of the proposed new construction). Now, the new 17,922 square foot building will supposedly house a full line food store.

Our Position

The Landmark Society maintains the same position that we held in 2012 when the ZBA last considered a proposal to demolish this protected historic structure. We support the many residents and property owners in the immediate area of the church who oppose demolition. Here’s why (read our complete comments as submitted to the Zoning Board on November, 2012 here):

  1. Significance as a Designated Building of Historic Value
    Recognizing the historic, cultural, and architectural significance, as well as its importance to the West Main streetscape, the City of Rochester’s Zoning Code has already established that the building can not and should not be demolished. The property owner fails to meet any of the six criteria outlined in Section 120-195 of the City Code that would allow for demolition of a DBHV.
  2. Community Impact & Streetscape
    Demolition and replacement with a building of far inferior quality and design would be a detriment to the streetscape and the surrounding community, particularly in light of ongoing and successful revitalization efforts that are occurring on either side of 660 W. Main. Millions of private and public dollars have been invested in the rehab of historic buildings and in sensitive modern infill just a block away. With growing interest in downtown and walkable urban neighborhoods, it is simply a matter of time before investment and demand spread to this section of West Main.
  3. Building Condition
    Contrary to the reports submitted by the property owner, the building is structurally sound and capable of being adapted to a new use. In 2013, The Landmark Society funded a report by a structural engineer that confirmed the building is indeed structurally sound. Click here to read it.
  4. Redevelopment & Adaptive Use Potential
    While a significant rehabilitation is needed, there is no reason the building could not be adapted to a new use. Placing a new use inside an existing historic building that relates to the streetscape and surrounding buildings would serve the city of Rochester much better than a generic new building. Historic church buildings throughout the country have been adapted to a variety of uses, including bars, restaurants, housing, and event space. Some have even been adapted to house corporate retailers such as pharmacies. The owner has not fully explored reuse potential.

While we acknowledge that not every historic building can or should be saved, we believe that in the case of 660 W. Main, the condition of the building, the concerns of the neighborhood, and the successful revitalization occurring just east of this property, make reuse a realistic option that merits further consideration.

What can you do?

  • Attend the Zoning Board of Appeals Hearing
    Thursday, July17
    Arrive by 11:30-12 p.m.
    (This is the last item on the agenda, case #12. Case 8 will begin at 11:30.)
    City Hall – 3rd floor, City Council Chambers
  • Submit written comments by July 16:
    Jill Symonds, City of Rochester, Bureau of Planning & Zoning, 30 Church Street, Room 125B, Rochester, NY 14612
    or Jill.Symonds@CityofRochester.gov