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. 

 

2016 Five to Revive announced

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Today we announced our 2016 Five to Revive – a list that identifies opportunities for targeted, strategic revitalization. The announcement was made at our headquarters on South Fitzhugh St. in Rochester. The list includes:

  • Former Rochester Brewing Company complex, Rochester, NY
  • Downtown Perry Block of Commercial Buildings, Village of Perry, Wyoming County
  • Dove Block, City of Geneva, Ontario County
  • Lake Ontario State Parkway, Monroe and Orleans Counties
  • The Traditional Trades

>>Click here to see the 2016 Five to Revive.

“This the fourth year that The Landmark Society of Western New York is announcing the Five to Revive list to call attention to key properties and priorities for revitalization in western New York,” said Wayne Goodman Executive Director.

“The Five to Revive initiative is proving to be very successful and continues to showcase our ongoing efforts demonstrating that preservation and adaptive reuse are effective strategies 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 2016 Five to Revive list represents a diverse selection of buildings, landscapes and preservation issues in Western New York.

Significant Progress

“Each year, The Landmark Society works closely on these priorities with owners, municipal officials, and developers to facilitate investment and foster rehabilitation,” said Goodman. 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 2015 Five to Revive properties have moved closer to that goal. “The Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building has had a bumpy ride but with the hard work of a local advocacy group, Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (CAMP), things are looking brighter,” said Castelein. “The County is examining options for selling the property while our staff works with CAMP to explore options for future uses.”

The Former Wollensak Optical Company is on the market. The Main St. East/North Clinton Avenue Retail District will soon be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, providing developers access to the historic tax credit programs.

“Our partner on the Lockwood-Alhart Cobblestone House and Retail Plaza, NeighborWorks Rochester, has acquired funding to design a welcoming public space in front of the building,” said Goodman. “This should be the first step in making the Cobblestone a friendlier environment for the neighborhood.”

The Landmark Society is also working with two Fraternal Meeting Halls, the Grange Hall in Huron and the Carter Memorial G.A.R. Hall in Nunda, to assist with repairs and ideas for creative programming. The Huron Grange Hall also received funding from The Landmark Society’s Preservation Grant Fund to plan repairs, some of which were completed this summer.

>>Click here to see the 2016 Five to Revive.

Good news for Five to Revive

Hillside Cemetery and Chapel receives funding from NYS REDC

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

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

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

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

Cattaraugus County Memorial & Historical Building

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

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

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

Lawmakers grant reprieve to Civil War Monument

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

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

Wollensack Optical Company building on the market

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

ROC the Day! Support preservation projects!

>>Click here to become a ROCstar and help support our efforts to save historic places through the Preservation Grant Fund. 

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On Tuesday, December 1st, our community will come together to ROC the Day, and we at The Landmark Society hope to make it a huge success. ROC the Day is a 24-hour giving opportunity to support all eligible not-for-profits in the nine-county Greater Rochester area. Community members are encouraged to visit ROCtheDay.org, a secure online giving platform, to contribute to any participating not-for-profit organization. All money given during ROC the Day stays local. Donors have the ability make an impact by giving to one or multiple organizations to support their personal philanthropic passions. Donors and not-for-profits can share their investment with friends, family, co-workers and social networks to increase awareness for this community-wide effort.

Once again, we’re directing all funds raised during ROC the Day to our Preservation Grant Fund program. Begun in 2012, this crucial program provides grants to municipalities, not-for-profits, community organizations, and potential developers to help get rehab projects off the ground. In a very real way, it helps save historic places across our region.

We wanted to show you the types of projects that you could help fund with your donation. Below are a sampling of past grant recipients…

Local preservationists and Landmark Society staff in front of the Sampson Theater, a 2013 Five to Revive property.

Local preservationists and Landmark Society staff in front of the Sampson Theater, a 2013 Five to Revive property.

Sampson Theatre – Penn Yan
One of our 2013 Five to Revive properties, the Sampson Theatre is owned by the Pennsylvania Yankee Theatre. Though the building is currently mostly a shell of its former self, PYTCo plans to rehab it into a fully functional theater space. A $2600 grant from The Landmark Society helped them complete their Master Plan, which will guide fundraising and planning efforts.

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Huron Grange Hall – Huron
Included in our 2015 Five to Revive, the former Huron Grange Hall has been largely unused and vacant for years. Its interior and exterior, however, remain in remarkably original condition, with loads of beadboard, original lighting fixtures, original windows, etc. This special historic building calls for maintenance and repair and plans for future use that can help generate revenue for repairs and maintenance. An award of $3,000 from our most recent round of funding will help the Town complete a condition report to plan for sensitive repairs and updating.

Interior meeting space in the Huron Grange.

Interior meeting space in the Huron Grange.

54.5 Madison St., before rehab.

54.5 Madison St., before rehab.

54.5 Madison St. – Rochester
Simply put, without The Landmark Society’s intervention and funding this little cottage in the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood would not have been saved. Our grant program’s very first award went to the City of Rochester to fund architectural plans for the rehabilitation of this building.

Although the Preservation Grant Fund program is relatively small (our maximum award is $3500), it has a huge impact. So, whatever amount you can donate, know that it will make a difference to an irreplaceable historic building or site in our region.

>>Click here to become a ROCstar and help support our efforts to save historic places through the Preservation Grant Fund. 

And THANK YOU for your support!

ROCsgivingAt the end of the day on December 1st, our Young Urban Preservationists invite you to join them, Foodlink, and Gilda’s Club Rochester for ROCsgiving: A Collaborative Happy Hour celebrating ROC the Day. On a day where organizations across the Rochester area are ‘competing’ for donor dollars, we hope this ends the day with a sense of community and collaboration…we are, after all, all working towards the same thing…bettering our community! >>Click here for event details on Facebook. 

 

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

 

 

 

FivetoRevive_EastMain_2015

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

Bash on the Bridges: Genesee Valley Park

Celebrate the historic pedestrian bridges in Rochester’s Genesee Valley Park. Live music, lawn games, drinks and light refreshments. Short, guided walking tours of the Park and the handsome concrete arch bridges, built in 1916 and 1919 and designed by the influential Olmsted Brothers firm, will depart at 6:45 p.m. Rain or shine! Please RSVP.

The Preservation League of New York State and The Landmark Society of Western New York will host a celebration of the three Olmsted pedestrian bridges in Rochester’s Genesee Valley Park on Thursday, July 23 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. >>Click here to register. 

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Canalside Shelter on the east side of Genesee Valley Park (see aerial image below) with live music, lawn games, drinks, and light refreshments. Short, guided walking tours of the Park and the handsome concrete arch bridges, which were built in 1916 and 1919 and designed by the influential Olmsted Brothers firm, will depart at 6:45 p.m.

GVP Map Graphic 3

The pedestrian bridges link regional and statewide trails including the Erie Canalway and are functional and historic assets. Limited funding, deferred maintenance, and uncertainty about rehabilitation responsibilities have put these bridges at risk.

Casual dress and sturdy shoes are recommended for the walking tour. Light refreshments will be served. Partygoers are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and lawn games.

The Preservation League of New York State named the three bridges to its list of the Empire State’s most threatened historic resources, Seven to Save, in 2014.

“Since 1999, Seven to Save has mobilized community leaders and decision-makers to take action when historic resources are threatened,” said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. “A Seven to Save designation from the League delivers technical assistance, fosters increased media coverage and public awareness, and opens the door to grant assistance for endangered properties.”

In late 2011, the New York State Department of Transportation (Region Four) released a Conditions Assessment and Concept Study for the three bridges which identified structural deficiencies, erosion issues, and other concerns. Even without a study, the deterioration of concrete surfaces and details are obvious. The report identified five treatment alternatives, three of which call for replacement.

The event will celebrate the efforts of local stakeholders such as the City of Rochester, Monroe County, the NYS Department of Transportation and The Landmark Society of Western New York, to devise a plan for stewardship of these bridges.

“These Erie Canal pedestrian bridges are a unique and highly visible feature in one of our most important historic landscapes, Genesee Valley Park,” said Wayne Goodman, Executive Director of the Landmark Society. “The park was originally conceived as a major component  of the Rochester park system, one of only four park systems in the country designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, one of America’s most prominent and visionary landscape architects. We invite neighbors of Genesee Valley Park and all Rochesterians to join us in celebrating and drawing attention to these remarkable assets.”

There is no cost for the event, but space is limited and reservations are required. Please register using the links on this page or call 585-546-7029 x11. The event will be held rain or shine.

The Canalside Shelter is located adjacent to the easternmost of the three Olmsted pedestrian bridges. To get to the shelter and the bridges, enter the Park from Elmwood Avenue. Follow the park road (Moore Road) and just before crossing the Erie Canal, make the first right towards the shelter parking lot. Cyclists may access the bridges by following the Genesee Riverway Trail on the east side of the river. Those taking the Riverway Trail from the west should make a left and cross the river just after the Genesee Waterways Center.

>>Click here to register.

 

Bash on the Bridges

Join The Landmark Society and the Preservation League of New York State as we celebrate the Olmsted Pedestrian Bridges in Genesee Valley Park!

>>Click here to RSVP.

From easternmost bridge to center bridge

The Preservation League of New York State and The Landmark Society of Western New York will host a celebration of the three Olmsted pedestrian bridges in Rochester’s Genesee Valley Park on Thursday, July 23 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The event will begin at the Canalside Shelter on the east side of Genesee Valley Park with live music, lawn games, drinks, and light refreshments (see below for aerial view with location details).

Short, guided walking tours of the Park and the handsome concrete arch bridges, which were built in 1916 and 1919 and designed by the influential Olmsted Brothers firm, will depart at 6:45 p.m.

The pedestrian bridges link regional and statewide trails including the Erie Canalway and are functional and historic assets. Limited funding, deferred maintenance, and uncertainty about rehabilitation responsibilities have put these bridges at risk.

Casual dress and sturdy shoes are recommended for the walking tour. Light refreshments will be served. Partygoers are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and lawn games.

The Preservation League of New York State named the three bridges to its list of the Empire State’s most threatened historic resources, Seven to Save, in 2014.

“Since 1999, Seven to Save has mobilized community leaders and decision-makers to take action when historic resources are threatened,” said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. “A Seven to Save designation from the League delivers technical assistance, fosters increased media coverage and public awareness, and opens the door to grant assistance for endangered properties.”

In late 2011, the New York State Department of Transportation (Region Four) released a Conditions Assessment and Concept Study for the three bridges which identified structural deficiencies, erosion issues, and other concerns. Even without a study, the deterioration of concrete surfaces and details are obvious. The report identified five treatment alternatives, three of which call for replacement.

The event will celebrate the efforts of local stakeholders such as the City of Rochester, Monroe County, the NYS Department of Transportation and The Landmark Society of Western New York, to devise a plan for stewardship of these bridges.

“These Erie Canal pedestrian bridges are a unique and highly visible feature in one of our most important historic landscapes, Genesee Valley Park,” said Wayne Goodman, Executive Director of the Landmark Society. “The park was originally conceived as a major component of the Rochester park system, one of only four park systems in the country designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, one of America’s most prominent and visionary landscape architects. We invite neighbors of Genesee Valley Park and all Rochesterians to join us in celebrating and drawing attention to these remarkable assets.”

There is no cost for the event, but space is limited and reservations are required. The event will be held rain or shine. >>Click here to RSVP.

The Canalside Shelter is located adjacent to the easternmost of the three Olmsted pedestrian bridges. To get to the shelter and the bridges, enter the Park from Elmwood Avenue. Follow the park road (Moore Road) and just before crossing the Erie Canal, make the first right towards the shelter parking lot. Cyclists may access the bridges by following the Genesee Riverway Trail on the east side of the river. Those taking the Riverway Trail from the west should make a left and cross the river just after the Genesee Waterways Center.

GVP Map Graphic 3

Grants to Fund Improvement Initiatives For Historic Buildings and Resources

Grants earmarked for Five to Revive site Former Trinity Episcopal Church and four other sites

A grant from The Landmark Society of Western New York will help to advance the revitalization of the Former Trinity Episcopal Church in Seneca Falls, one of the 2014 Five to Revive historic sites determined by The Landmark Society to be in need of targeted revitalization. The Preservation Grant Fund provides funds for preliminary design and planning studies to help make positive improvements to at-risk buildings. Awards have also been earmarked for four other sites. The complete list of grants includes:

 A $3,200 grant to the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Foundation on behalf of Seneca Falls Historic Preservation Association for conditions assessment & architectural drawings of the Former Trinity Episcopal Church, 10-14 Bayard St, Seneca Falls.

Image courtesy of Richard Margolis

Image courtesy of Richard Margolis

 A $2000 grant for a condition report for the Macedon Academy, 1185 Macedon Center Road, Macedon, NY – home of the Macedon Historical Society and Museum

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

 A $2000 grant to assist in funding a condition report on the roof of the Grace United Methodist Church, 121 Driving Park Avenue in Rochester.

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

 A $2000 grant for condition report of the Salem United Church of Christ, 60 Bittner St. in Rochester.

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

 An $1800 grant for condition report of the Wiley Schoolhouse, 893 Wiley Rd., Savannah, NY

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

The Landmark Society’s grant committee considers applications quarterly or as funding is available. The program’s goal is to help kickstart preservation projects that can have a positive impact on their surrounding communities. “Our efforts are focused on sustaining and enhancing the cultural and economic vitality of Western New York by bringing new life to historic buildings and resources and ensuring they are present and contributing for generations to come,” said Caitlin Meives, Landmark Society Preservation Planner.

Initial funding for the Preservation Grant Fund was made possible by a generous bequest from Elizabeth (Libby) Stewart. Stewart was a longtime Landmark Society staff member who was dedicated to the revitalization of neighborhoods and historic structures. Generous donations to The Landmark Society provide ongoing funding. This last round of funding was the most competitive to date, according to Meives, more than $23,000 in funds were requested.

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.

 

$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