Best of 2017: 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 2017 with our Top 13 (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 80th Anniversary Campaign.

Here’s to many more successes in 2018!

1.The Landmark Society celebrates 80 years

Founded July 1937, The Landmark Society has been celebrating its 80th Anniversary year with a number of special events, beginning with our first-ever Gala attended by over two hundred in September, and continuing through the coming year with a night of performing arts in February, an al fresco dinner at our downtown St. Joseph’s Park in July, an art exhibition in September, and travel tours to Savannah, Georgia and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – watch for more updates. We also launched our 80th Anniversary Capital Campaign to provide the grounding for our continued work on behalf of preservation across our region in the many years we have ahead; please consider joining us in in this work with a gift to the campaign.

2. Rochester’s only cobblestone seeing new life

Vacant for over a decade and listed on our 2015 Five to Revive list, the c. 1835 Lockwood-Alhart House on Culver Rd. – the city of Rochester’s only surviving cobblestone – is finally seeing new life: ground was broken for a micro-park on the property in August with funding from NeighborWorks Rochester, and the Triangle Neighborhood held a “Cobbleween” event for neighborhood families on the premises on Halloween night. Moreover, developer interest in the structure, and our funding of studies for the property through our Preservation Grant Fund, means there might be more good news on this unique community resource soon!

3. Landmark Society recognized by the Rochester Community Design Center

The Landmark Society was honored to receive honorable mention for the Joni Monroe Award at the Rochester Community Design Center’s 2017 Reshaping Rochester Awards ceremony in November “for its longstanding commitment to preservation in the community”. We admire the tireless work RCDC and its founding Executive Director Joni Monroe have done to ensure that the Greater Rochester region’s people and communities have a built environment befitting their potential and aspirations, so it is humbling to receive this recognition.

4. South Wedge’s Calvary – St. Andrew’s Church granted City Landmark status and repurposed as event / art space

When the Calvary – St. Andrews congregation dissolved earlier this year, the future of the unique late 19th-century church building they left behind, and the vitality of the surrounding residential South Wedge neighborhood, was in question, but thanks to the enterprising work of the Friends of Calvary – St. Andrews organization, the sublime property was protected as a City Landmark by the Rochester Preservation Board in the fall, and will continue to be enjoyed by the community as it is repurposed as an event and performing arts space.

5.Colgate Rochester campus receive City Landmark designation

The Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School campus (including its historic buildings and designed landscape) became an official designated City of Rochester Landmark in September. This means that as the property transitions to new owners, neighbors and the larger Rochester community can be assured that any new development will be sensitively incorporated into the historic campus, with review by the City’s Preservation Board. The features that give the campus its economic value will be preserved so that it can continue to be a part of the community long into the future.

The Landmark Society, along with a coalition of organizations that included Highland Park Neighborhood Association and NBN6, worked with the owners at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, to amend the landmark application and determine appropriate boundaries.

6. Water Flows, and People Follow, in Manhattan Square Park

Flowing water is a recurring theme and major attraction in prominent landscape architect Laurence Halprin’s work – including in his FDR Memorial in Washington and his Freeway Park in Seattle – but the fountain he designed for Rochester’s Manhattan Square (now renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Park) was dry for several decades…until the City of Rochester turned the water back on this summer after significant renovations! Cascading water has brought life and attracted people back to what had been a little-used and oft-maligned corner of the downtown landscape, pushing it closer to being the community focal point Halprin had hoped and intended it to be. Click here to read more. 

7. YUPs host Rust Belt Takeover

In July, The Landmark Society’s Young Urban Preservationists hosted a Rochester meetup of the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists. Nearly 70 preservationists came from Rust Belt cities (and beyond) to explore the Flower City’s history, preservation successes, and challenges. Visitors toured Mt. Hope Cemetery, High Falls, Wall\Therapy murals, the Public Market, and sampled local fare from adaptive reuse projects like Radio Social, the Swillburger/Playhouse, and of course, Nick Tahou’s.

8. CAMP takes ownership of Civil War Memorial building

The preservation and reuse of the Cattaraugus County Memorial & Historical Building, one of our 2015 Five to Revive, took a big leap forward this month when local preservation advocates from Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (CAMP) took ownership of the building from the County. For the past three years, the County had had plans to demolish the building. CAMPers still have a long way to go to develop plans and raise funds to rehab the building but we’re incredibly proud of their efforts so far and we’ll be working with them to secure this important building’s future.

9. Landmark Society hosts summer youth program

The Landmark Society was the home for a youth employment program this past summer. Put a Face to the Place: Afro Rochester was a research based project to study local history through the lens of the built environment and biography, and produce a video documentary. It was funded by the Summer Youth Employment Program at RochesterWorks, Inc who partnered with Landmark Society and Kuumba Consultants. The program offers youth a summer job, but also provides training in employment and life skills, to further their future success.

The final project was a video documentary of faces and places chosen reflecting local Afro Rochester: Put a Face to the Place: Afro Rochester a video to teach about the remarkable people and place of our city. Click here to see the video and meet the youth.

10. Conference returns to Rochester

2017 saw yet another year of record-breaking attendance at the NY Statewide Preservation Conference with nearly 370 attendees from around the state. The Conference took place on E Main St. in downtown Rochester, showcasing the ongoing successes in the heart of downtown. We were honored to welcome Amy Nicole Swift, principal and owner of Building Hugger in Detroit, to Rochester as our Keynote Speaker. Amy spoke about the importance of expanding training and employment opportunities for women and young people in the traditional trades.

After a full day of conversation and learning at a wide range of breakout sessions and networking with fellow colleagues and community advocates, attendees were able to wind down at a special Preservation Partners Party at the Genesee Country Village and Museum. 

11. Main St. facade revealed

After decades of being covered up by a two-story billboard, the historic facade of the building at the corner of Main and Clinton Streets in downtown Rochester was finally unveiled this fall! Property owners are in the process of planning a major rehab for this building–just one more step forward in the revitalization of this 2015 block of Five to Revive buildings!

BEFORE

AFTER

12. Tavern Takeover at Stone-Tolan

The YUPs and Emerging Rochester Architects (ERA) hosted the first ever Tavern Takeover at the Landmark Society’s Stone-Tolan House Historic Site. Sponsored by architecture firm, Clark Patterson Lee, the event featured a campfire with s’mores, outdoor snacks, free-roaming of the grounds and, most importantly, beer from Swiftwater Brewing in the historic tavern! We had over 80 attendees (of all ages) join us to stroll the grounds and experience the Stone-Tolan House as 19th century frontier travelers would have.

13. Federal historic tax credits saved!

After much advocacy, the Tax Reform Bill retained the federal historic tax credit program, which has made possible many of the rehabs that are catalyzing positive economic and civic change in the western New York, particularly in downtown Rochester, and across the Rust Belt.

Released Friday, December 15, this version retained the Senate’s modification of the HTC, which mandates that users must take the credit over five years, instead of in the first year the building is placed in service. Although this will diminish the credit’s value, it’s a big win for preservation, as the House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the credit completely.

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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 80th Anniversary Campaign.

 

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. 

 

2015 Five to Revive Announced

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Today we announced our 2015 Five to Revive list. The Five to Revive is a list of historic sites that we identify each year as opportunities for targeted, strategic revitalization.

“The Landmark Society of Western New York continues to be focused on preservation and community revitalization,” said Wayne Goodman Executive Director. “This is the third year we are announcing a Five to Revive list which has been very effective in calling attention to key properties in western New York that are in need of investment.”

“The Five to Revive initiative continues to enhance the organization’s ongoing efforts to promote preservation and adaptive reuse as an effective strategy for revitalization in Western New York,” said Tom Castelein, Vice-President of Preservation on The Landmark Society Board who chairs the Five to Revive initiative.

The 2015 Five to Revive list represents a diverse selection of building types located across Western New York, and illustrates a range of preservation issues. One spot on the list addresses a thematic subject, the inherent potential represented in fraternal organization meeting halls which have fallen into disuse. “The inclusion of these meeting halls – and we have three excellent examples – underscores the ongoing challenge these iconic buildings face,” said Castelein.

Significant Progress

Each year, these five properties become priority projects for Landmark Society staff and programs as we work collaboratively with owners, municipal officials, and developers to facilitate investment and foster rehabilitation. The ultimate goal is to return these important historic resources to a place of prominence in their respective communities, as economic and social assets that spark even more investment and revitalization.

Most of the 2014 Five to Revive properties have moved closer to that goal: The Hillside Cemetery and Chapel in Clarendon/Holley, Orleans County was recently awarded a major grant from the Rochester Area Community Foundation to assist with repairs to the chapel, while several new special events at the cemetery have attracted many first-time visitors, who are now aware of this important community asset. The former Trinity Episcopal Church in the village of Seneca Falls is the focus of ongoing discussions for its rehabilitation and re-use by a local developer. The Erie Canal Warehouse in Brockport received a grant and local advocates are completing a final report highlighting potential uses for the building. The Landmark Society and the City of Rochester are partnering on a multi-year project to survey historic properties throughout the city and update the City’s Designated Buildings of Historic Value list.

Eastman Dental Dispensary [photo courtesy Richard Margolis]

Eastman Dental Dispensary [photo courtesy Richard Margolis]

The Eastman Dental Dispensary was on the inaugural list of Five to Revive in 2013. “I think this is the biggest success yet,” said Goodman. “This was a clear case of how the Five to Revive list called attention to the building and its needs and helped leverage significant funding to make its rehabilitation possible.” The building is currently being converted to senior housing, a project that gives a boost to that area of Rochester and is creating many local jobs while saving an irreplaceable historic resource.

The 2015 Five to Revive are…..

Click the links below to read more about each property.

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Former Wollensack Optical Company
872 Hudson Avenue
City of Rochester, Monroe County

 

 

 

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Lockwood-Alhart Cobblestone House and Retail Plaza
1090 Culver Road
City of Rochester, Monroe County

 

 

 

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Main St. East/North Clinton Avenue Retail District
132-226 E. Main Street and 1-17 Clinton Avenue North
City of Rochester, Monroe County

 

 

 

FivetoRevive_LittleValley_2015_editedCattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building
302 Court Street
Village of Little Valley, Cattaraugus County

 

 

 

FivetoRevive_Nunda_2015FivetoRevive_HuronGrange_2015 FivetoRevive_IOOFStafford_2015

Fraternal Meeting Halls
Rochester/Genesee Valley/Western New York region

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. 

2nd Thursday’s at St. Joseph’s Park

2nd Thursdays Networking Event sponsored by The Landmark Society of Western New York. Out and Equal New York Finger Lakes monthly event held at the recently reopened St. Joseph’s Park.

$10.00 Entry provides wine, beer, soft drinks and hors d’oeuvres .
>>Click here to RSVP.

About St. Joseph’s Park

St Joseph’s Park is located inside the remains of what was the city’s oldest Catholic church built by German immigrants in the 1800’s and destroyed in 1975 by a disastrous fire. The Landmark Society owned park opened in 1980 with renovation designed by Handler/Grosso Architects.

At the city’s center, just north of Main Street stands the haunting beautiful remains of St. Joseph’s Church, an edifice of Lockport stone whose massive walls, gracefully arched windows and soaring clock tower continue to inspire. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the inspiring ruin has for the last three decades been owned and preserved by the Landmark Society as a small park and an architectural focus for future downtown development.

About Out & Equal

Out & EqualTM Workplace Advocates is the preeminent national organization devoted to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the workplace. Out & Equal New York Finger Lakes is one of 18 regional affiliates throughout the United States. Our members are located in Rochester, Canandaigua, Buffalo, Corning, Binghamton, Ithaca, Syracuse and points in between.

Our mission is to educate and empower organizations, human resource professionals, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and individual employees through programs and services that result in equal policies, opportunities, practices, and benefits in the workplace regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, or characteristics.

Out & Equal provides enriching workplace services and programs, such as our Building Bridges LGBT Diversity Training and Town Call Series to realize our goal: to promote equality for all individuals, including the LGBT community, families, and allies in the workplace.

Out & Equal also makes significant advancements in our campaign for equality for all people in the workplace through 18 national regional affiliates (including NY Finger Lakes), networking events, discussion groups, professional speakers, our annual Out & Equal Workplace Summit, as well as promoting LGBT best practices, including Out & Equal’s 20 Steps to an Out & Equal Workplace.

Out & Equal’s newest program is www.lgbtcareerlink.com, an online career development portal serving diversity-friendly employers and the LGBT workforce alike.

Location info: St. Joseph’s Park, 108 Franklin Street (Corner of Pleasant St and Clinton St). Parking adjacent to building on Pleasant Street and street parking available.

Architecture For Lunch: East End/Grove Place

Explore the city’s glamorous East End cultural district in the heart of downtown Rochester. We’ll visit the last remaining Victorian residential district in  Center City, as we stroll through historic Grove Place and discover its quaint 19th-century architecture, whimsical public art, pocket gardens, and dramatic 20th century buildings. One of the city’s most dynamic neighborhoods, the East End has history, art, restaurants, and activities for all ages, interests and appetites!

Meet in front of Christ Church, 141 East Ave.

Timed to fit in with busy schedules and weekday lunch breaks, these 20-minute presentations feature information about the history and architecture of downtown Rochester.  Cynthia Howk, Landmark Society staff member and local history expert, will guide interested tour goers from 12:10 to 12:30 p.m.  Architecture for Lunch tours are free and open to the public; held rain or shine, for the most interesting lunch break you’ve ever taken.  Meet Cynthia at 12:10 p.m. on June 12, 19 & 26.

Architecture for Lunch: St. Paul Street Garment District

Meet in front of H.H. Warner Building, 82 St. Paul St.

Timed to fit in with busy schedules and weekday lunch breaks, these 20-minute presentations feature information about the history and architecture of downtown Rochester.  Cynthia Howk, Landmark Society staff member and local history expert, will guide interested tour goers from 12:10 to 12:30 p.m.  Architecture for Lunch tours are free and open to the public; held rain or shine, for the most interesting lunch break you’ve ever taken.  Meet Cynthia at 12:10 p.m. on June 12, 19 & 26.

Architecture For Lunch: Four Corners

Come explore the city’s historic “Four Corners” area, where Rochester’s financial, government and banking industries have been headquartered for nearly 200 years. Discover the original 100-Acre Tract purchased by entrepreneur Colonel Nathaniel Rochester, a Maryland resident and founder of our city in the early 1800s. Learn Rochester fascinating early history as a village, its development as an Erie Canal “Boom Town,” and the remarkable collection of historic architecture that’s located in this bustling neighborhood.

Meet at City Hall, 30 Church St (Church St./main entrance)

Timed to fit in with busy schedules and weekday lunch breaks, these 20-minute presentations feature information about the history and architecture of downtown Rochester.  Cynthia Howk, Landmark Society staff member and local history expert, will guide interested tour goers from 12:10 to 12:30 p.m.  Architecture for Lunch tours are free and open to the public; held rain or shine, for the most interesting lunch break you’ve ever taken.  Meet Cynthia at 12:10 p.m. on June 12, 19 & 26.

Best of 2014: 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 2014 with a highlight of 14 preservation successes.

2014 saw many successes, as well as new challenges and opportunities. Thank you to everyone who supports our work; together we can make a difference in communities across WNY. Here’s to many more successes in 2015!

1. The Preservation Conference goes statewide

For the first time ever, our annual Preservation Conference became a statewide event. This also marked the first time New York state has seen a statewide preservation conference in well over a dozen years. Over 230 (a record-setting number) preservation colleagues and community advocates joined us in Rochester’s East End for three days of inspirational stories, calls to action, and networking.

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2. Young Urban Preservationists

In March, a group of passionate young preservationists launched our new affiliate group, the Young Urban Preservationists, or YUPs for short. Whether it was a happy hour, our first annual Bikes, Beer & Buildings scavenger hunt, the re-opening of St. Joseph’s Park, or roasting marshmallows at. St. Joseph’s during Inside Downtown, we’ve been so excited to see so many youngish folks interested in preservation. Follow the YUPs on Facebook and Instagram, sign up for the YUP e-newsletter, or contact Caitlin to learn how you can get involved.

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3. WHERE THE #&@% AM I?

No, we didn’t have too much eggnog over the Christmas holiday. WHERE THE #&@% AM I? is a new coaster program we launched, along with the YUPs, this year. You scan the QR code on the back of the coaster and learn some interesting and titillating (sometimes apocryphal) tidbits about your favorite watering hole (which just so happens to be in a historic building). It’s currently been released in a few select locations in and around Rochester: Abilene Bar & Lounge; 2Vine; Black Button; Edibles; and the American Hotel in Lima (home to the largest urinal in the U.S.). Visit where.landmarksociety.org to learn more.

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4. Eastman Dental Dispensary on the road to renewal

Some of the best (and most overdue) news of 2014–one of our 2013 Five to Revive properties, the Eastman Dental Dispensary on E. Main St. in Rochester, will be rehabbed by Home Leasing LLC into senior apartments. Inclusion on our Five to Revive list was critical in securing a $3.5 million NYS grant.

Eastman Dental Dispensary [photo courtesy Richard Margolis]

Eastman Dental Dispensary [photo courtesy Richard Margolis]

5. Instagram

We don’t take a lot of selfies but our staff does spend a lot of time on the road, visiting communities across the region, and getting inside some pretty amazing historic buildings. Now you can join us in our travels…Follow @landmarksociety.

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6. House & Garden Tour sells out

The Highland Park neighborhood welcomed us and about 2,000 of our closest friends into their homes in June. Tourgoers got a taste of some of the best that city living has to offer–active and engaged neighbors; verdant gardens; an Olmsted-designed park right in your backyard; easy access to dining and shopping on South Ave; and, of course, unique architecture.

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7. Inside Downtown Tour sells out

It was billed as “A View from the Top” and that was certainly the case! From the incredible attendance to the incredible views, the 14th annual Inside Downtown Tour was up there with the best of them.  Attendees enjoyed an inside look at loft apartments and other great spaces in the Main and East area, not to mention a sneak peak of the great rehabilitation taking place in the Sibley building.

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8. New programming at Stone-Tolan Historic Site

In partnership with Green Zebra Catering, we offered the first ever farm to table Harvest Dinner at Stone-Tolan. Earlier in the year, in honor of Brighton’s bicentennial, we partnered with Historic Brighton and the Town of Brighton to re-enact the first town meeting, which took place at the Stone-Tolan house. Our very own preservation planner made her (reluctant) acting debut at this event!

Stay tuned for more new opportunities to experience Monroe County’s oldest home in 2015!

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Photo courtesy David Boyer

Photo courtesy David Boyer

9. Cocktails & Carburetors

Tourgoers at this special event got a look inside exclusive historic garages and automobiles.

Photo courtesy David Boyer

Photo courtesy David Boyer

10. Ribbon cuttings galore!

Perhaps the most rewarding part of the work we do at The Landmark Society is attending the ribbon cuttings once rehab projects have been completed. These projects are years, often decades, in the making and represent the culmination of years of hard work, vision, and a significant financial investment. The resurgence of downtown Rochester and its surrounding city neighborhoods simply would not be possible without preservation and the adaptive reuse of historic buildings.

2014 saw the completion and beginning of lots of exciting projects. To name just a few: 300 Alexander, Button Lofts, Cunningham Carriage Factory, Hart’s Local Grocers, as well as ongoing work on the Clarendon Stone Store (Orleans County), Edge of the Wedge, the Hilton Garden Inn, the Sibley Building, and the Bevier Building.

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Clarendon Joe painting store

11. St. Joseph’s Park opens its gates

The YUPs marked the official re-opening of St. Joseph’s Park in downtown Rochester this summer with the Open the Gates event. Despite a massive downpour and thunderstorm early in the evening, the crowds came out in force once the storm passed. We have been thrilled with the interest and support for this unique urban park and hope to continue this success next spring and summer.

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12. Downtown Holley receives Preserve NY grant

With assistance from Landmark staff, the Village of Holley successfully completed a grant application to the Preservation League of New York State’s, Preserve New York grant program. This grant will help fund the completion of a National Register of Historic Places district nomination for downtown Holley. Once the paperwork is complete, properties within the historic district–including our 2013 Five to Revive, the Holley High School–will be eligible for state and federal rehab tax credits, a key revitalization tool.

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13. Travel Tours

Our Travel Tour season completed another successful run with trips to Buffalo and the Hudson Valley.

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14. YOU–our members and supporters

Last but definitely not least, our members and supporters. Whether you attended the House & Garden Tour, donated to the Annual Fund, sponsored one of our many events, donated to the Jubilee Silent Auction, journeyed with us to the Hudson Valley on our Travel Tour, volunteered at an event, opened your home to us, or simply renewed your membership, your support was the most important success of the year. THANK YOU!

LM-2014-annual-appeal-fall-FINAL-green_Page_1You can continue to support our work across the region by making a contribution to our 2014 Annual Fund.