Film|Frederick Law Olmsted-Designing America

Please join our friends of the NY Upstate Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects in celebrating their 60th anniversary with the film Frederick Law Olmsted-Designing America, at The Little Theatre at 6:30 pm.

The documentary is an hour in length and following the film will be a panel discussion featuring local speakers; JoAnn Beck, ASLA, City of Rochester’s Senior Landscape Architect and Katie Eggers Comeau, Architectural Historian at Bero Architecture PLLC, as well as guests from Ithaca, NY Judy Hyman, and Jeff Cluas. The panel will be moderated by Project Manager at Bayer Landscape Architecture, Zakery Steele, ASLA.

At the conclusion of the panel discussion, attendees are cordially invited to the 60th Anniversary reception at Ballroom 384 at East Ave Inn & Suites. Tickets are just $25 for this great documentary and wonderful occasion! 

>>Click here to purchase your tickets

125 Years of Rochester’s Parks

Celebrate the 125th birthday of the Rochester park system. Katie Eggers Comeau will discuss her recent contribution to the journal Rochester History, tracing the city’s many parks from their 19th-century beginnings through the present. Learn about the fascinating backstory of old favorites, like Highland, Genesee Valley, and Seneca Parks, as well as such modern counterparts as Turning Point Park.

Genesee Valley Park

Genesee Valley Park

Katie Eggers Comeau is the architectural historian at Bero Architecture PLLC, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Association for Olmsted Parks. Prior to joining the Bero Architecture staff in 2010, she was the Director of Preservation Services at the Landmark Society of Western New York, where her projects included extensive documentation of and advocacy for Rochester’s historic park system. The lecture will be followed by a Question and Answer session. Copies of Comeau’s article will be for sale, and the author will be available to sign them.

Highland Park

Highland Park

>>Click here for the event flyer

Sunday, March 16 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. | Rundel Auditorium, 3rd floor, Rundel Memorial Building | Sponsored by the Local History & Genealogy Division of the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County. Call 585-428-8370 for more information.

125 Years of Rochester’s Parks

Genesee Valley Park

Genesee Valley Park

Celebrate the 125th birthday of the Rochester park system. Katie Eggers Comeau will discuss her recent contribution to the journal Rochester History, tracing the city’s many parks from their 19th-century beginnings through the present. Learn about the fascinating backstory of old favorites, like Highland, Genesee Valley, and Seneca Parks, as well as such modern counterparts as Turning Point Park. This presentation is free and open to the public.

Sunday, March 16 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. | Rundel Auditorium, 3rd floor, Rundel Memorial Building | Sponsored by the Local History & Genealogy Division of the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County. Call 585-428-8370 for more information.

>>Click here to learn more

Discover Sweden: 200 Years of Historic Architecture

Above is Lakeview Cemetery & its handsome Romanesque Revival chapel on Lake Rd. (Route 19) in the town of Sweden.  It’s a property that’s individually listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Designed by a noted Rochester landscape architect, the cemetery was the recipient of a Landmark Society Historic Landscape Award in 2010. This property is just a taste of what you’ll see at Discover Sweden.

The program will feature examples of historic resources in both the town of Sweden & its adjacent village, Brockport.  Come see views of Federal, Greek Revival, and Victorian-era styles typical of western New York’s  19th-century, rural communities, through the early/mid 20th century with Craftsman,  Art Deco and International styles, to the  post-World War II suburban development highlighted by ranch, split-level and Cape Cods.

There will be distinctive examples of barns, canal structures, cobblestone buildings and other “hidden treasures” that are not widely known to the Brockport/Sweden residents. This is the first historic architecture talk that The Landmark Society of Western New York has ever presented in Sweden and one you do not want to miss!

>>Click here to view the program flyer

Discover Sweden: 200 Years of Historic Architecture

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Join our Architectural Historian extraordinaire, Cynthia Howk, at the Sweden Senior Center this Saturday at 3:00 PM for a free lecture, “Discover Sweden: 200 Years of Historic Architecture.” This is the first historic architecture talk that The Landmark Society of Western New York has ever presented in Sweden and is part of the celebrations for the Town’s Bicentennial.

>>Click here for more details.

Olmsted Bridges Named to “Seven to Save”

The Preservation League of New York State has named the three Olmsted pedestrian bridges in Rochester’s Genesee Valley Park to its list of the Empire State’s most threatened historic resources, Seven to Save.

Photo courtesy Dan Dangler

Photo courtesy Dan Dangler

These handsome concrete bridges were built in 1916 and 1919 and designed by the influential Olmsted Brothers firm. They 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.

“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 invaluable 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.

With this announcement, the League hopes to launch a collaborative effort with 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.

“Through the Seven to Save program, we provide targeted support to seven of New York’s most important and endangered historic resources,” said Tania Werbizky, the Preservation League’s regional director for technical and grant programs for the Southern Tier and Western New York. “Whether sites are threatened by insensitive, ineffective or insufficient public policies, general neglect, or, in some cases, outright demolition, we have a proven record of working with community advocates to save a number of significant properties.”

Photo courtesy Jenny McCabe

Photo courtesy Jenny McCabe

“These Erie Canal pedestrian bridges, designed by the renowned Olmsted Brothers firm, are a unique community asset and a highly visible feature in one of our most important historic landscapes, Genesee Valley Park,” said Wayne Goodman, Executive Director, Landmark Society of Western New York. “They are part of The Landmark Society Five to Revive List and now inclusion on the Preservation League’s Seven to Save list will increase awareness of these resources across the state as we partner with other stakeholders on funding opportunities to assist in the repair and maintenance of the structures.”

“The Olmsted Bridges are unique to the Canal System, adding to the beauty and heritage that visitors and residents of the Erie Canalway value,” said Bob Radliff, Acting Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “We applaud the Preservation League of New York State, the Landmark Society of Western New York, and the citizens of greater Rochester who are working to save these treasured landmarks.”

“Arching so gracefully over the Erie Canal, these bridges are a key component of the 360-mile Erie Canalway Trail and the 90-mile Genesee Valley Greenway Trail as well as a defining feature of the Olmsted landscape in Genesee Valley Park,” said Robin Dropkin, Executive Director, Parks & Trails New York. “We commend the Preservation League of New York State and the Landmark Society of Western New York for bringing attention to the critical need for rehabilitation of these threatened historic structures and look forward to the start of a collaborative effort to ensure their long-term preservation.”

Since 1999, publicity and advocacy resulting from Seven to Save designation has led to the rehabilitation and reopening of the Oswego City Public Library, the rebirth of Montauk Manor on Long Island, and the rededication of the once-abandoned George Harvey Justice Building in Binghamton along with successes at several other locations.

The Preservation League of New York State is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1974. The League invests in people and projects that champion the essential role of preservation in community revitalization, sustainable economic growth, and the protection of New York’s historic buildings and landscapes. It leads advocacy, economic development, and education programs all across the state.

 >>Check out photos by Richard Margolis from the press conference here

RIT Student Project Highlights Five to Revive

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Photo courtesy Jenny McCabe

When Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) students, Jenny McCabe and Mariah Lamb, contacted The Landmark Society regarding a collaborative project featuring one of our Five to Revive selections for 2013, we jumped at the chance. Jenny and Mariah wanted to do a feature on the pedestrian bridges that span the Erie Canal in Genesee Valley Park. The bridges not only provide transportation to walkers, runners, bikers using Rochester’s extensive trail system but they’re also significant as a design element in the park.

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Photo courtesy Jenny McCabe

The park itself was designed by noted landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, while the bridges were designed by his successors in the Olmsted firm when the Canal was re-routed through the Park.

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Photo courtesy Jenny McCabe

We thought Jenny and Mariah’s project would be a great opportunity to highlight the beauty of the bridges to a new audience. Here, in their own words, is a bit more about the project:

This project was for a class at RIT called Editorial Design and Photography. In this class photographers and graphic designers team up to create an editorial article. We do this three times with different partners and different topics with the end result of a magazine called Positive/Negative. The topics are completely open to the students with one guideline: it has to have either a positive or a negative spin. We write the article, photograph the story, and design the layout. For our project, Mariah Lamb (designer) and I (Jenny McCabe/ photographer) knew we wanted to focus on something local. We knew The Landmark Society would make for a great story and wanted to showcase the positive things they do for Rochester. I was attracted to photograph the pedestrian bridge in Genesee Valley Park because of its wonderful shape and the purpose it serves to the Rochester community. We very much enjoyed working on this project in collaboration with The Landmark Society.

And here is the final product that Jenny and Mariah produced: We so enjoyed working with them and love how they have showcased the bridges! Congratulations on a beautiful final project!

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Photo courtesy Jenny McCabe

Hudson River Valley Travel Tour

Hudson River Valley Sojourn- September 15-18, 2014
Registration Deadline: June 9, 2014

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We’re off to that storied region of New York State which features over 300 years of history, architecture, gardens, and breathtaking vistas!  This four day/three night coach tour will explore some of the most extravagant historic properties in the eastern United States when we visit 19th-century estates, restored mansions, and quaint villages along this fabled river valley.  You’ll get a chance to live the lifestyle also, as we include an overnight stay at the remarkable Mohonk Mountain House. One of North America’s most famous historic hotels and situated in a dramatic, fairy-tale setting amidst an 8,000-acre nature reserve, Mohonk was recently voted the number one spa resort in the United States.   So, save these dates:  SEPTEMBER 15-18, 2014 for an unparalleled experience discovering the scenic Hudson Valley.

For more info and to register for this trip, please click here.

Paul Malo Award for Community Preservation Advocacy

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.

Friends of the Three Bears, Inc.
Village of Ovid, Seneca County

Photo Credit: Richard Margolis

An organization known of its creative and highly motivated members, the “Friends of the Three Bears” was established in 2002 to spearhead efforts to maintain and preserve one of the most remarkable municipal complexes in the United States – the “Three Bears,” a trio of Greek Revival style buildings located in the village of Ovid, Seneca County.

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Photo Credit: Bero Architecture PLLC

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Listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, this unique complex of buildings was built between 1845 and 1859 and used as a county court house, county clerk’s office, Ovid Free Library, sheriff’s office, county health department, and G.A.R. veterans’ headquarters.

 

 

In recent years, however, these buildings have been mostly vacant or underutilized.  The formation of the “Friends” advocacy group created the necessary public support and visibility for the revitalization of these buildings.

 

Photo Credit: Bero Architecture PLLC

Chaired by retired executive Dan Motil, the “Friends” work includes creative partnerships with Seneca County, the Finger Lakes Wine Trail Initiative, the New York State Office of Historic Preservation, and the Preservation League of New York State.  The first phase of restoring this complex was completed last year with the rehabilitation of “Mama Bear,” the middle building, a project honored by The Landmark Society in 2012 with an “Award of Merit.”
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The “Friends” continue their exceptional efforts to insure the long-term viability of this unique complex of buildings, as they play a new role for tourism, promotion of local history, and economic redevelopment in the Finger Lakes.

Visit our Success Stories page for other 2013 winner previews and to see last year’s winners! We are looking forward to the Awards Ceremony tomorrow afternoon at 3PM and we hope to see you there to join us in honoring this year’s recipients!

Historic Landscape Award: Barker-Knickerbocker Farm

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 Historic Landscape Award recognizes and encourages the preservation, restoration and stewardship of historically significant landscapes in our 9-county region.

Barker-Knickerbocker Farm
219-230 Mendon Center Road, town of Pittsford, Monroe County

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Located in the gently rolling countryside south of the village of Pittsford, the Barker-Knickerbocker farm has remained in the same family for over 150 years.  In 1860, William H. Barker purchased this picturesque property, which his descendants continue to cultivate in the 21st century.

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The farmstead complex features a remarkable collection of historic horse, dairy, and grain barns, a wood silo, a weigh station, smoke house, pond, and two distinctive residences.

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Today, the fifth generation of the Barker-Knickerbocker family continues to reside here.  The 100 acres that remain of the original, 140-acre farm are forever protected for agriculture as a result of the Town’s purchase of the property’s development rights in 1999.

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