$3.6M awarded for Eastman Dental Dispensary redevelopment

Eastman Dental Dispensary [photo courtesy Richard Margolis]

Eastman Dental Dispensary [photo courtesy Richard Margolis]

Today Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Home Leasing LLC will receive $3.6 million in funding provided by New York State Homes & Community Renewal for redevelopment of the Eastman Dental Dispensary in Rochester! The project will transform this State and National Register of Historic Places listed property into mixed-income and affordable housing units.
>>Click here for the full press release of the funding announcement 

Five to Revive Eastman

We are grateful and thrilled with this news, as the Dental Dispensary was one of our 2013 Five to Revive properties. We can’t wait to see this building restored to its former glory!

>>Click here to learn more about the Eastman Dental Dispensary

Reconnect Rochester wants to know: what could you do with a bus shelter?

Photo Courtesy Rick Urwin

Following the completion of the new RTS Transit Center, the bus shelters along Main Street will no longer be needed to provide shelter for passengers, and these retro beauties could be scraped. But we, citizens of Rochester, could change their fate!

Photo Courtesy Sharon Drummond

Reconnect Rochester has partnered with RGRTA and the City to solicit serious proposals for new uses for the former shelters;

Whatever your idea, write it up, include a drawing or two, and send it to info@reconnectrochester.org along with your contact information and a brief explanation.

Proposals should include:
• your name(s)
• your business or organization name
• contact information
• which shelter(s) you would like to use
• what purpose you would use the shelter for
• when you could start using it
• the length of time you’d use it for
• any other relevant details
• and any illustrations or drawings that might help explain your idea

Proposals will be reviewed by the City and then a meeting will be set up to discuss.

Even if you lack in the artistic department, they want your written idea anyway!

Read more about the shelters and see some ideas on Reconnect Rochester.

Agreeing with many of the comments already posted, a coffee kiosk could be an excellent new use. Here’s an inspiration from my vacation in Burlington, VT last summer.

bluebird coffee

This is such an exciting project to get the community inovlved in place making decisions, what would you do with a shelter?

Submit your ideas to info@reconnectrochester.org now. We can’t wait to see what Rochester comes up with!

34 King St: Rehabbed Historic Property Available

34 King Street (4)
The City of Rochester Bureau of Business and Housing Development has quite the offer for you! Fresh from renovation and rehabilitation, 34 King Street in the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood is offered as a sealed bid for qualified buyers beginning Monday February 3 at 9 A.M. with the minimum bid set at $99,900.

34 King Street (1)
This home, built in 1910, is 2,014 square feet with three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. 34 King Street’s location can’t be beat; it offers close proximity to downtown, and ease of access to expressways to reach any part town. The Susan B. Anthony neighborhood is unique in the city–with a central park square, a close-knit community, an active neighborhood association, unique historic architecture, and  Designation as a City of Rochester Preservation District protects your investment and the historic character that makes the neighborhood so appealing.

34 King Street (2)
The first open house is this Sunday, February 2 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. A second open house will be held Sunday, February 9, 1:00-3:00 p.m. First-time homebuyers—you don’t want to miss your chance to own a piece of history in the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood.

Buyer requirements:

  • First-time homebuyer
  • Income at or below 120% of the area’s median income

>>Click here for more information on the property and to learn more about the process.

All photos courtesy City of Rochester.

St. Joseph’s Park park now available for your special occasions!

St. Joseph’s Park is the Perfect Location for your Special Occasion!

Photo Credit: Richard Margolis

One of Rochester’s best-kept secrets will be available for the community to enjoy again, after being closed for many years.  In a partnership with Bella and Co., The Landmark Society will be renting out this beautiful urban park for photo shoots, weddings and other celebrations.

Photo Credit: John Schlia

Due to the generosity of the Rochester Area Community Foundation, the Davenport-Hatch Foundation and Ted Collins Tree and Landscape as well as the hard work of Landmark staff and volunteers, many will enjoy the site more in the future.  Public events are also in the planning stages to introduce this unique architectural venue to varied audiences.

Photo Credit: John Schlia

St. Joseph’s Park can accommodate 125 guests for a wedding ceremony.  Please contact Jenna Knauf at jenna@bellaandco.com, 585.943.0796 for rates and dates.

Special Achievement Award: Frank Grosso

The Landmark Society’s 2013 Preservation Awards will be presented this year at a special event on Sunday, November 10 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 Special Achievement Award recognizes accomplishments that have occurred over a lengthy period of time.

 Frank Grosso

New City Hall 7186_3

Photo Credit: Richard Margolis

A native of Long Island and graduate of Pratt Institute and Yale University, architect Frank Grosso has had a major role in changing the face of downtown and the Rochester community through his projects over the past five decades.  With engineer Richard Handler, the partnership of Handler-Grosso was involved with some of the most innovative preservation projects in our area, including the Lawyers’ Cooperative Publishing Company, the Rochester Free Academy, the National Casket Company/Court-Exchange Building, and St. Joseph’s Park.

Court Exchange Building 7240_3

Photo Credit: Richard Margolis

His sensitivity to historic design when creating additions to existing buildings is evident in projects at the Memorial Art Gallery and the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

MAG Atrium 7222_2

Elaine Wilson Hall RMSC 7317_3Photo Credits: Richard Margolis

 The renovation of the Lawyer’s Cooperative Publishing complex and the Free Academy showed that rehabilitating historic buildings made sense both economically and philosophically.

Free Academy Building 7271_3

Photo Credit: Richard Margolis

His rehabilitation of the former Federal Building as Rochester’s new City Hall renewed a landmark building that has been viewed by thousands of appreciative citizens since its opening in 1978.

New City Hall 7291_3

Photo Credit: Richard Margolis

Frank is an architect who brings a respect for the past to all of his projects, working with a sensitive and diplomatic approach that results in successful outcomes for each situation.

Stone Tolan Barn 7104_2Stone Tolan House 7113_2
Photo Credits: Richard Margolis

A long-time trustee of The Landmark Society,  he provided critical leadership and design expertise for a variety of challenging projects over the years, most notably with the rehabilitation of the fire-damaged St. Joseph’s Catholic Church as a unique public park.

St. Joseph's Park 7709_2

Photo Credit: Richard Margolis

St. Joseph's Park 7723_4

Photo Credit: Richard Margolis

Honored by the Rochester chapter of the American Institute of Architects with their  Medal of Distinction for his lifetime career, Frank Grosso has been a tireless advocate for this community’s historic resources for over five decades.

Visit our Success Stories page to see more previews of this year’s winners and check out winners from 2012!

Award of Merit: Christ Church

The Landmark Society’s 2013 Preservation Awards will be presented this year at a special event on Sunday, November 10 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 Award of Merit is for the sympathetic rehabilitation of an historic building in our 9-county region completed within the past two years.

Christ Church
141 East Avenue, City of Rochester

Photo Courtesy Andy Olenick

Located downtown, on historic East Avenue, Christ Church is an Episcopal parish whose founding dates back to the 1850s, when the original church was built here on the site of a former nursery. Landmark

By 1892, the congregation had outgrown the 1850s building and the present church was erected, a Gothic Revival structure designed by Robert Gibson, a British architect.  The current project completed on this historic landmark is the repair of the complex roof and gutter system on the church, belfry, and parish house.

5C

Photo Courtesy Bero Architecture PLLC

Work included installation of new copper and membrane roofs, new copper gutters and downspouts, and replacement of deteriorated supports with new wood.

H1

Photo Courtesy Bero Architecture PLLC

Working with Bero Architecture PLLC and roofing contractor, Curt Catalano, a specialist in copper installations, the parish undertook this challenging project with major assistance from the Sacred Sites and New York State Environmental Fund grant programs.

Visit our Success Stories page to see other 2013 Award winners, and check out last year’s winners!

Award of Merit: 44 Exchange Boulevard

The Landmark Society’s 2013 Preservation Awards will be presented this year at a special event on Sunday, November 10 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 Award of Merit is for the sympathetic rehabilitation of an historic building in our 9-county region completed within the past two years.

44 Exchange Boulevard
44 Exchange Boulevard, City of Rochester

44Exchange_small

Located near the Four Corners and across the street from the Blue Cross Arena, the International-style, former Central Trust Bank Building was built in 1959 and designed by Rochester architect Carl Traver.  Listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, it has been creatively rehabilitated as contemporary apartments and first-floor retail space.

051 10101.JP.501.FurnishedApt.25612 002.reduced

Project challenges for this building included restoring the original glass wall tiles and fabricating new aluminum sash that reflected the original design, yet included modern, energy-saving features.

Photo Courtesy Bero Architecture PLLC

One of the youngest buildings to use the Federal Investment Tax Credit program, this mid-century modern building was rehabilitated by Rochester developers Ben Kendig and James Phillippone, who teamed with R.J. Lindsay Buildings and Interiors and  Bero Architecture PLLC.  The project was also a recipient of a 2013 Preservation Award from the Preservation League of New York State.

>>Click here to learn more about this project!

Visit our Success Stories page to see other 2013 Award winners, and check out last year’s winners!

Award of Merit: Bridge Square Building

The Landmark Society’s 2013 Preservation Awards will be presented this year at a special event on Sunday, November 10 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 Award of Merit is for the sympathetic rehabilitation of an historic building in our 9-county region completed within the past two years.

Bridge Square Building
242 West Main Street, City of Rochester

Photo courtesy of Richard Margolis

Photo courtesy of Richard Margolis

Located in the Bridge Square Historic District, this handsome industrial building is situated at the western gateway into the city’s downtown business district.  It was originally built around 1900 as the headquarters of the J. Hungerford Smith Company, manufacturers of flavored syrups and soda fountain products.  Its subsequent uses were a City Hall annex, a trade/high school, and, most recently, the Josh Lofton High School of the City School District. The building was purchased by Passero Associates, who rehabilitated it for mixed use, sustainable, design that includes their own offices, retail spaces, and loft-style apartments.

Photo Courtesy Gene Avallone

Photo Courtesy Gene Avallone

Major rehabilitation work included the replacement of much-altered exterior windows with new window sash fabricated in the style of the original, c.1900 windows.   Listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, the project was completed by Passero Associates, in conjunction with Spoleta Construction, using the Federal Investment Tax Credit program for income-producing properties.

Photo Courtesy Don Corcoran Photography

Photo Courtesy Don Corcoran Photography

Visit our Success Stories page to see 2012 Preservation Award winners and stay tuned for more 2013 winners!

20 Years of “Ghostly” Reminiscences

Memories of Ghost Walks past from Cindy Boyer, Ghost Walk producer and playwright

When I started this program in 1994, a “Ghost Walk” was not a well-known event, not too many people had heard of such a thing.  They didn’t know what it was or why they should sign up for it.  But all it took was an article in the newspaper describing it as “a night-time walking tour with actors portraying ghosts from Rochester’s past” and we sold our 650 tickets in one dayPeople realized we were a unique and enjoyable event, and couldn’t wait to try it.

Photo courtesy of David Boyer

Today there are dozens of “Ghost Walks” in October, including quite a few in our own region.   But guess what:  we are STILL a unique and enjoyable event!  We’re the only one to treat you to a guided evening walk in a historic, architecturally diverse neighborhood.  We’re the only one that focuses on true historic events – even though many of the stories are difficult to believe. We’re the only one to feature professionally directed actors in scenes from our past, ranging from macabre to touching to comedic. And we’re the only one that has been sharing these ghostly encounters for 20 years.

For those of us who have been involved since 1994, we have had our own “encounters.”

A funeral director (played by Tom Bohrer)  from 1888 displays the latest issue of The Casket, Rochester's national journal for undertakers

A funeral director (played by Tom Bohrer) from 1888 displays the latest issue of The Casket, Rochester’s national journal for undertakers

Actors experience unique distractions performing on porches – passing cars, parties in the next building, a wayward teenager with water balloons – but nothing topped the dog. Linda Loy was performing a solo scene when the neighbor’s dog wandered over, sat at her feet and stared up at her adoringly.  A bulldog.  Wearing a pink tutu.  He stayed for the whole scene while Loy kept the audience’s attention – and a straight face.

Actress Linda Loy tells of the horrors of the Spanish Influenza of 1918

Actress Linda Loy tells of the horrors of the Spanish Influenza of 1918

Do the people from the past want their stories told?  Researching murderer August Russell, I was searching hundreds of early 20th century “mug shots” in the City archives.  They weren’t in specific order and I was about to give up on finding Russell.  I held up an unrelated mug shot card to show my colleague across the room and a card stuck to the back fell to my feet, face up. You guessed it – Gus Russell.

The photo that found me Ghost Walk article

How do you measure success?  When we first started, people had to wait in a line outside.  The Meigs Street line stretched from East Avenue almost to Park Avenue.  When we sold out, people showed up offering to pay double to be admitted. But we knew “Ghost Walk” had really made it the night a hot dog vendor cart showed up!

Some people take “Ghost Walk” experiences very personally.  A young man asked if we would help him stage a proposal to his girlfriend at the event, since their first date had been a Ghost Walk tour. We were delighted to add an extra scene for their tour group only.  David Boyer performed as a mid 19th century gentleman who was interrupted by the groom-to-be as he pulled his girlfriend out of the crowd and proposed.  Since It was a damp evening, we even provided cardboard as a dry kneeling surface.

Another year a husband and wife waited for their tour in the church, holding a nicely carved wooden box.  “What’s that?” we asked.  “That’s our mother’s ashes.  She loved coming to Ghost Walk and we thought we’d bring her one last time.”   They gave us permission to share the story. I wonder if we should have asked at the end of their tour if the box was still occupied.

Come to Ghost Walk and make your own memories!  The Landmark Society Ghost Walk is recommended for anyone who enjoys theatre, history, architecture, a stroll in the night and ghastly, moving or humorous true stories expertly performed.  It is not recommended for children under 8, due to the content of some stories and the length of the performances.

All tours start at the Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word at the corner of East Avenue and Goodman Street.  The tour is about an hour but the wait (inside the church) can be up to an hour at peak times.  To avoid a lengthy wait, visit our website for information on scheduling a reserved tour time.

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There are only two nights for Ghost Walk this year:  Friday October 25 and Saturday October 26. Tickets in advance will be $17 ($12 for members) and $20 at the door – If available. Last year’s one-weekend Ghost Walk was close to a sell-out – please don’t wait too long to get your advance tickets.  Tickets will be available online until noon on Friday, October 26. If available, tickets can be purchased day-of in person at Parkleigh or at the door at Ghost Walk, 6:30-9 p.m.

>>Click here for Friday tickets

>>Click here for Saturday tickets

Inside Downtown Tour 2013

Cascade District – Plus!

Presented by Buckingham Properties
and Hugh & Mary Clare Hamlin

The Inside Downtown Tour highlights 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.

IDT2013_postcard 1

>>Click here for complete Tour information and Ticket Purchase<<