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.



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!


Best of 2013: Preservation in WNY

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 2013 with a highlight of 13 preservation successes.

1. Walk the Walk reaches over 1600 students

With a new specialized Rochester African-American History Rap program for 2nd graders, Walk the Walk this year reached a record-setting number of children–over 1600 students plus over 200 teachers and chaperones.


2. Preservation Conference

Our Preservation Conference in the village of Brockport was a roaring success with new speakers, timely topics and nearly 200 community advocates, municipal leaders, and preservation professionals in attendance.IMG_20130420_095329_505

3. Launched Five to Revive program

In May, we announced our inaugural Five to Revive list, with Mayor Thomas Richards, County Executive Maggie Brooks, and Senator Joe Robach (among others) in attendance. Since then, we have been working with stakeholders to find solutions to move these properties forward towards revitalization. Two of the properties have rehabilitation plans in the works.

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Five to Revive press conference held in May, 2013 at the Pulaski Library. [Photo courtesy Richard Margolis]

4. Free Academy

2013 saw the completion of the rehabilitation of the Free Academy at 13 S. Fitzhugh St. in Rochester. One of downtown’s most recognizable buildings, the Free Academy had long been vacant. The award-winnng rehab project was completed by developers George and Katia Traikos.

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5. Inside Downtown Tour

Our Inside Downtown Tour in the Cascade District sold out. Nearly 2000 ticket holders toured rehabbed historic buildings in a downtown Rochester that is experiencing an exciting revitalization. The Tour showcased pivotal and award-winning adaptive reuses, including Bridge Square, the mid-century modern 44 Exchange, the Free Academy, and modern infill townhouses on Plymouth Ave.


6. Stone-Tolan Historic Site

Due to the generosity of the Davenport-Hatch Foundation and the Rochester Area Community Foundation, this summer we were able to bring in some of the finest craftsmen in the region to bring this spectacular property back to its former glory.  Master carpenters Matt Sweger and Eric Cady rebuilt custom wooden storm windows, repaired trim, rebuilt animal pens and the wooden well as well as completed repairs on the historic barn. Tim McGrath and his meticulous crew of painters painted not only the house and barn but also the majestic wooden fence that encloses the heirloom apple orchard and runs the length of the property.


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Stone-Tolan Historic Site. Photo courtesy Richard Margolis.

7. Clarendon Stone Store

After a year and a half of cooperative marketing efforts and preservation advocacy with the Town of Clarendon, the Clarendon Stone Store was sold (for $1!) to new owners who have already begun rehabbing this iconic 1836 landmark. We can’t wait to see what 2014 brings!

Town Supervisor Richard Moy, right, presented the keys of the Clarendon Stone Stone to Sue and Joe Fertitta on Friday. The couple also was presented a souvenir T-Shirt from the town’s bicentennial. An image of the store is on the back of the shirt. Photo courtesy

8. Over $15,000 in grant money

In the second year of the Preservation Grant Fund program, we provided $15,100 to help kickstart rehab projects for at-risk properties throughout the region. Grant recipients included: the Sampson Theatre in Penn Yan, Genesee Baptist Church in Rochester, Pratt Opera Theater in Albion, Church of God and Saints in Christ (former Leopold St. Shul) in Rochester, Pulaski Library in Rochester, Valentown Hall in Victor, Kingston Hotel in Canaseraga, and College Hall at the Elim Bible Institute in Lima.

Pratt Opera Theater in Albion.

9. 660 W Main

Working with neighborhood residents, we advocated for the preservation and reuse of this vacant historic church in Rochester. Claiming that the building was a hazard and unfit for rehabilitation, in 2012, the owner proposed replacing the historic building with a new Dollar General store. A structural engineer’s report, funded by a Landmark Society grant, determined that the building was structurally sound. Although the ultimate fate of 660 W Main still remains uncertain, the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals denied the owner’s application for a variance to demolish the building.


10. Ghost Walk’s 20th Anniversary

The award-winning Landmark Society Ghost Walk reached its 20th anniversary of sharing Rochester’s architecture and historic in a dramatic, spooky format.


11. 19th Ward project begins

Working closely with the 19th Ward Community Association, we began a project to create four National Register Historic Districts in the 19th Ward neighborhood. National Register listing will allow homeowners to qualify for the NYS historic homeowner rehab tax credits, helping strengthen ongoing revitalization efforts in the neighborhood. To help complete this project, The Landmark Society and the 19th Ward Community Association were awarded generous grant funding from the Rochester Area Community Foundation, the Preservation League of New York State, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


12. Diamond Jubilee Celebration

Along with about 300 of our closest friends (members, donors and supporters), in November we celebrated 75 years of past accomplishments and the success of our new initiatives.

Over 300 members and supporters attended the Diamond Jubilee Celebration

Over 300 members and supporters attended the Diamond Jubilee Celebration

13. 75th Anniversary Campaign

At our Diamond Jubilee Celebration, we announced the successful completion of our 75th Anniversary fundraising campaign. Thanks to our many generous supporters we surpassed our goal, raising $555,000 to fund new initiatives and re-invigorate existing programs.

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Update from Orleans County: Clarendon Stone Store

The Landmark Society continues to partner with the Town of Clarendon and local preservation advocates on the Old Stone Store Preservation Committee (OSSPC) to market the Stone Store for sale and redevelopment. In case you’ve missed earlier updates about the Stone Store–the Town is offering it for sale for $1. Interested buyers are asked to submit a proposal to the Town, outlining a redevelopment plan. The Town Board will review all of the proposals and sell the property to the buyer who presents the best and most realistic plan for redevelopment.

Since we last updated you in December, we’ve made great progress. The Stone Store achieved official approval from the National Park Service for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, an honorary designation that allows future owners to qualify for rehab tax credits. Local advocates, Melissa Ierlan and Erin Anheier, have worked with a local company, Bryant Design Studios, to produce a digital rendering that illustrates how a rehabilitated Stone Store could look. Melissa has also recruited the pro-bono services of a surveyor to resurvey the property on which the Stone Store sits.

Rendering courtesy of Bryant Design Studios

And, in the most recent news, on July 17 the Town Board voted 3-1 to grant The Landmark Society and the OSSPC a six month extension to continue to market the property and solicit proposals for redevelopment. As Town Supervisor, Richard Moy, explained during the public meeting discussion, “When a building comes down, it comes off the tax rolls. Who makes up for that? You and me.” We couldn’t have said it better.

Thanks to the dedication of Clarendon’s citizens and the Town leadership, this irreplaceable historic building still has a chance to be brought back onto the tax rolls. And hopefully it is well on its way to a new owner and a new life.

To learn more about the property, please view our online listing or contact Caitlin Meives to schedule a showing.

Progress Report: Clarendon Stone Store

As you may have read in a previous post, we have been partnering with local advocates in the Town of Clarendon to bring new life to the former Stone Store, a rare Medina sandstone, Federal style, vernacular commercial building. Since our last update in November, Bero Architecture has completed a site visit report. This type of report prioritizes recommended repairs and will be a useful tool as the Town, the Old Stone Store Preservation Committee (OSSPC), and The Landmark Society begin marketing the property. (Click here to read the full report, a 13MB PDF).

Prompted by information provided in the report, members of the OSSPC have already taken the initiative to repair broken and cracked purlins in the attic. Town Code Enforcement Officer (and Town Historian), Melissa Ierlan, has also been busily working–coordinating discussions with the NYS Department of Transportation regarding the front porch, which sits extremely close to the road; and recruiting a surveyor to donate his time to re-survey the property.

Once the survey is complete, Landmark Society staff and the OSSPC will be going before the Town Board in January to discuss marketing and potential new uses for the property.

OSSPC chair, Erin Anheier has guided and overseen all of these efforts while also preparing a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. The Stone Store’s nomination is scheduled to go before the NYS Board for Historic Preservation in March 2012.

More updates to come in the New Year!

Clarendon Stone Store

The Landmark Society is working with a dedicated group of local citizens in the Town of Clarendon (Orleans County), to save the former Stone Store in the small hamlet of Clarendon. This unique Medina sandstone commercial building was constructed in 1836 and served as a general store and social gathering spot in the hamlet for almost 140 years before closing in 1975. The building was subsequently divided into apartment units. It has sat vacant since 2007 and is now owned by the Town. After considering demolition, on July 19, 2011 the Town Board granted The Landmark Society and the Old Stone Store Preservation Committee (OSSPC) one year to find a new owner who will rehabilitate this rare Federal style commercial building and bring it back on the tax rolls.

Together Landmark Society staff and members of the OSSPC have begun the process of getting the Stone Store listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This honorary designation will allow future owners to take advantage of the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program as well as the New York State Commercial Tax Credit program. This will mean that a future owner can potentially take advantage of tax credits worth up to 40% of qualified rehabilitation costs. (The NY State Historic Preservation Office administers these tax credit programs—visit their website to learn more).

With a $500 donation from The Landmark Society to kickstart the project, the OSSPC raised sufficient funds from generous local donors to hire Bero Architecture PLLC of Rochester to conduct a site visit and prepare a brief report describing the condition of the building, suggested remedial work, potential restoration work and priorities. The report, prepared by John Bero, will be vital to the marketing of the property as it will give prospective buyers an objective evaluation of the current condition of the building and potential costs for rehabilitation.

Donors who have helped fund this service include: local businessman, Joe Sidonio; the Clarendon Historical Society; Clarendon-born Dr. Daniel Schiavone, who practices dentistry in Holley; and Mr.  & Mrs. Gerald Ward, formerly of Clarendon.  The Clarendon Fire Department has also assisted by pumping out the basement prior to Bero’s inspection and by providing use of the ladder truck to allow inspection of the roof. A most heartfelt Thank You goes out to everyone who has helped so far by donations of cash, time and expertise.

Stay tuned to our website and Facebook page for updates on the Clarendon Stone Store!