45th Annual House and Garden Tour

Living on the Hilltops: Highland Heights and Highland Avenue East 

June 6th and 7th, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This year we are taking you to the top – the top of the Pinnacle Range. One of our area’s most prominent geological features, it’s a linear series of hills and knobs that extends from the Genesee River to Winton Road, including Mt. Hope, Pinnacle Hill and Cobbs Hill. It’s also one of the rare Rochester locations where you can enjoy homes in a hilltop setting. The tour will focus on the south side of Cobbs Hill, with residents on Highland Avenue, Highland Heights and Cobbs Hill Drive opening their doors for you. Eight private homes are on the tour – and only one has been open in the past.

Advance tickets for Landmark Society members are $18, available only directly from The Landmark Society on our website at www.landmarksociety.org or by calling (585) 546-7029 x11.   The nonmember advance price is $22, and may be purchased from us, or at Parkleigh, corner of Park Avenue and Goodman Street.  On the days of the tour, tickets for all will be $25, if we are not sold out.

>>Click here to purchase your tickets.

2015 House & Garden Tour Preview

This year marks The Landmark Society’s 45th annual House and Garden Tour on June 6th and 7th. We look forward each year to dreaming up exciting locations that feature unique and notable pieces of the greater Rochester region’s unique architectural heritage. This year we are thrilled to be able to present a unique enclave of homes surrounding Cobbs Hill, one of our four glacial moraines.

Once you’re done reading about one of this year’s unique architectural treasures,1780 Highland Avenue, be sure to go to the House and Garden Tour page for more information and to purchase you tickets.

 

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I have always favored Tudor Revival houses for their Arts and Crafts design influence as well as their whimsical and sometimes formal anglo-saxon stylistic tendencies. One of our most prolific local architects who designed dozens of homes in this style, was Leander W. McCord (1884-1953). A life-long Rochesterian, Mr. McCord studied architecture at the Mechanics Institute, now RIT, as well as the Ecole de Beaux-Arts in Paris, and apprenticed under J. Foster Warner from 1902-1910 before establishing a partnership with Fred M. Ives, and subsequently his own independent practice in 1919. While perfectly capable at designing in many of the numerous romantic revival styles popular before WWII, he particularly excelled in his unique interpretation of the Tudor Revival style, and this home is no exception.

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Built in 1927 for Emil and Elizabeth Rodenbeck, descendants of the family owned the home until ultimately selling it to the current owners. It is because of this that the home retains so much of its original character as well as priceless documentation including historic photographs, drawings, and even the original specifications for construction. Many of Mr. McCord’s signature touches, such as large wood turnings, corbels, and brackets, rough split field stone, and whimsical garden trellises, are present as well as his distinctive sense of proportion.

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The interior is not left wanting for light or views due to the plethora of leaded glass windows and doors throughout, as well as the several lines of sight that literally pass from one side of the house clear to the outside.

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The crown jewel of the house is undoubtedly the kitchen which the current owners reorganized and retained the original leaded-glass gumwood cabinetry. It is truly something you have to see to believe.

>>Click here to go to main House & Garden Tour page where you can purchase your tickets and learn more about the Tour.

-Written by Christopher Brandt, Member of Home and Garden Tour Committee

45th Annual House and Garden Tour & Pre-Tour Talk

The Landmark Society’s 45th Annual House and Garden Tour Living on the Hilltops: Highland Heights and Highland Avenue East June 6 and 7, 2015

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This year we are taking you to the top – the top of the Pinnacle Range. One of our area’s most prominent geological features, it’s a linear series of hills and knobs that extends from the Genesee River to Winton Road, including Mt. Hope, Pinnacle Hill and Cobbs Hill. It’s also one of the rare Rochester locations where you can enjoy homes in a hilltop setting. The tour will focus on the south side of Cobbs Hill, with residents on Highland Avenue, Highland Heights and Cobbs Hill Drive opening their doors for you. Eight private homes are on the tour – and only one has been open in the past.

1660 Highland street address sign_2We’re proud and honored that a private neighborhood in this area has agreed to welcome house tour visitors for the very first time. Highland Heights is a cluster of homes designed as a private enclave at the top of the hill. Two buildings will be open for us, including a spectacular Claude Bragdon-designed home.

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The homes on Highland Avenue and Cobbs Hill Drive are also sure to delight. If you are a fan of Tudor Revival, this is the tour for you – several houses exhibit this romantic style.   But this is not all “Tudor castles on a hill.” We’ve got an amazing Colonial Revival home that will transport you to the tidewater area of Virginia.  If you’re feeling in a mid-century modern mood, there’s a great architect-designed home built in 1950.

Part of the charm of this tour is that you’ll be able to stroll the sidewalks and enjoy the neighborhood, as most of the houses are within walking distance of each other. But as you might guess, there will be a bit of hill climbing; a few driveways are rather steep. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes!

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If you’ve never participated in the June tour, you’ll want to know that you can go at your own pace.  Your ticket booklet provides a map, descriptions of the house, and admission to each home for one visit. You may go in any order – you can even choose to visit some houses on Saturday and others on Sunday. Our tour headquarters will be in St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, a wonderful early 20th century Gothic Revival building. The church commissioned Pike Stained Glass to design, create and install 35 stained glass windows. Valerie O’Hara, owner and designer at Pike Stained Glass, will be on hand from noon to 2 pm each day to answer questions.

Pre-Tour Talk: will be Thursday, June 4th at 7 pm at St Thomas’ Episcopal Church.  “The UNnatural History of Cobbs Hill: How humans have shaped and reshaped beautiful Cobbs Hill. The talk is FREE to ticket holders – present your ticket at the talk, or pick up your pre-ordered ticket that evening.  Tour tickets may also be purchased that evening (if not sold out) or you may attend the talk only for $5.

Tour tickets available NOW! Click here to purchase your tickets online. 

Advance tickets for Landmark Society members are $18, available only directly from The Landmark Society on our website or by calling (585) 546-7029 x11. The nonmember advance price is $22, and may be purchased from us, or at Parkleigh, corner of Park Avenue and Goodman Street.  On the days of the tour, tickets for all will be $25, if we are not sold out.

We are grateful to the major House & Garden Tour Sponsors:

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UBS COLOR Logo house tour article

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

A House & Garden Tour for the ages!

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We had record sales, record attendance, perfect weather – and the best team of volunteers and staff on the planet!

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A sellout crowd traveled through the neighborhood over the weekend. But of course numbers don’t tell the whole story.  We heard countless remarks about the quality of the tour, the stupendous gardens, and the surprise at learning about the charm of the homes in the area (“I had no idea that homes in the city could have such beautiful gardens.”)  The tour-goers were ecstatic (and exhausted) after tromping up and down Mount Hope’s hill.

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Our many, many thanks to all of those who graciously opened their homes to us, the incredibly dedicated volunteers, and all of the tour-goers! This is one of our largest fundraisers of the year and we could’t put it together without each and every one of you.

We hope to see you next year for our 45th Annual House & Garden Tour!

Final 2014 House and Garden Tour Preview

We’re thrilled that the historic Mt. Hope and Highland neighborhood is host to this year’s House and Garden Tour June 7th and 8th, and we wanted to post some previews of the tour. Advance tickets are on sale now, $18 for Landmark Society members & $22 for nonmembers. Check out the House and Garden Tour page for complete details and to purchase your tickets now. Don’t delay!

Do you prefer inside or out?

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Get both at the 44th Annual House and Garden Tour this weekend!

Ah, the comforts of the controlled indoor environment.  The color schemes that are most compatible, the artwork lit so beautifully, the carefully thought out placement of furnishings and fabrics.

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But then, there’s the exhilaration of the slightly wilder out of doors.  The breeze ruffling through the tall irises’ beards, the intrusion of the cardinal’s red splash among the pastel blooms, the change of light and shadow on as the clouds cross the sky.

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What do they have in common? You can enjoy both on this weekend’s 44th Annual House and Garden Tour!  Whether you prefer the interiors with their spectacular architecture and no detail left undone or the beautifully designed gardens and yards with Mother Nature adding a few serendipitous touches, you don’t want to miss this.  10 private homes and gardens will be open for ticket holders on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 4 pm each day.

Photo Courtesy: Ellwanger Estate

Photo Courtesy: Ellwanger Estate

And what better neighborhood to celebrate the joys of indoor and outdoor pleasures?  The Mt Hope and Highland Historic Neighborhood is nestled next to Highland Park and the former Mt. Hope Nursery Grounds. The houses showcase some of the finest architects of the late 19th and early 20th century. It is a symbiotic relationship, and one that will be open to you this weekend only.

Photo Courtesy: Wayne and Susan Willis

Photo Courtesy: Wayne and Susan Willis

Advance tickets can be purchased at Parkleigh, corner of Park Avenue and Goodman Street, or by clicking here.   On the days of the tour you will find limited quantities of tickets at Lamberton Conservatory in Highland Park (Saturday and Sunday only.)

Lamberton conservatory exterior C Boyer

-Written by Cindy Boyer, Director of Public Programs

Check out the House and Garden Tour page for complete details and to purchase your tickets now!

2014 House and Garden Tour Preview #3

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The Doors are Ready to Open for You

And you don’t even have to knock!   The Landmark host will be standing there, waiting to welcome you into a home where usually only family and friends are admitted.

Of course, the host WILL want to see your ticket.

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The 44th Annual House and Garden Tour is almost upon us, and the homeowners and gardeners of the Mt Hope and Highland Historic Neighborhood are completing the finishing touches inside and out.  We’re so grateful for their generosity in opening their private living spaces to you.

You know you want to go inside. Face it, we all like to see how other folks have arranged their living rooms, if they painted or papered their dining rooms, and what kind of cabinets work well in their kitchens. Those are the added “pluses” of touring these remarkable architectural treasures.  From the sweet bungalows to the massive “palaces” built for Rochester’s horticultural royalty, the doors will be open on June 7 and 8.  But only if you get a tour ticket!

-Written by Cindy Boyer, Director of Public Programs

Check out the House and Garden Tour page for complete details and to purchase your tickets now!

2014 House and Garden Tour Preview #2

We’re thrilled that the historic Mt. Hope and Highland neighborhood is host to this year’s House and Garden Tour June 7th and 8th, and we wanted to post some previews of the tour. Advance tickets are on sale now, $18 for Landmark Society members & $22 for nonmembers. Check out the House and Garden Tour page for complete details and to purchase your tickets now. Don’t delay!

86 Reservoir Avenue

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I expected your typical Arts and Crafts bungalow. It certainly appears that way from its exterior, and a fine one at that.

All the clues are there: the low-pitched roof with broad eaves, the brackets that add scale to the home, the wide, welcoming front porch shaded from the afternoon sun, the detailing in the trellis on the side porch and the diamond pattern in the upper floor windows.

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But what a surprise when you step inside! The rustic craftsman approach gives way to a quite elegant Colonial Revival interior, with fine detailing in the molding and wall finishes.

The architect, Charles W. Eldridge, was ahead of his time when he designed this house, completed in 1911.  The place is set up for efficient one floor living, with three bedrooms on the first floor. Yes, there is a second floor – but that was originally reserved for maids’ quarters. Does that surprise you, in a house that is not of mansion proportions?  Remember, this was in the day of much more physical labor in the care of a home. The original owner, treasurer of Rochester Gas and Electric, could well afford live-in domestic help.  Especially since this was before federal income tax became a permanent fixture in our law.

You’ll also find that many windows have an upper transom that still works, with original hardware.  Opening only the top of the windows provided airflow and security. The owners’ cat, Martin, is very glad for the Colonial Revival penchant for fireplaces.

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Today the house is known as the “Strasenburgh bungalow” among local history fans, since Edwin and Clara Strasenburgh owned the house from 1921 through 1965. They were the benefactors of the Strasenburgh Planetarium at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

-Written by Cindy Boyer, Director of Public Programs

Check out the House and Garden Tour page for complete details and to purchase your tickets now!

2014 House and Garden Tour Preview

We’re thrilled that the historic Mt. Hope and Highland neighborhood is host to this year’s House and Garden Tour June 7th and 8th, and we wanted to post some previews of the tour. Advance tickets are on sale now, $18 for Landmark Society members & $22 for nonmembers. Check out the House and Garden Tour page for complete details and to purchase your tickets now. Don’t delay!

692 Mt. Hope Avenue

Photo Courtesy: University of Rochester

Photo Courtesy: University of Rochester

Did you ever dream of living in a palace?  For some of us the childhood stories were all about the prince and princess, the dragon or the witch. But for others, it was about the architecture.  A soaring six-sided tower.  Sturdy stone and rose red brick. A grand entrance.

At the House and Garden Tour you’re invited to step into a very palatial home.  Be received as you step through the spectacular arched entryway, trimmed in limestone. It’s one of the best Italian Villa style houses in the country.  Renown British architect Gervase Wheeler created this masterpiece, completed in 1857.

Once inside, you will feel the presence of royalty – horticultural royalty, that is.  It was built for Patrick Barry, co-founder of the Ellwanger-Barry Nursery, which became the largest nursery in America during the mid-19th century. (You’ll also visit Mr. Ellwanger’s home on the tour.)

Original paintings and furnishings are in the main rooms, and while they are breath taking, don’t forget to look up.  The 13 feet high ceilings boast ornate plaster moldings, planting painted roses and other flowers above your head.

The place is owned by the University of Rochester, and has housed presidents and provosts. The current residents have graciously agreed to open their private kitchen and kitchen sitting area on the tour as well as the more formal rooms. It’s a wonderful contrast, decorated in the direction of their taste for modern artwork and clean lines.

-Written by Cindy Boyer, Director of Public Programs

Check out the House and Garden Tour page for complete details and to purchase your tickets now!

House and Garden Tour Tickets On Sale Now!

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Tickets are on sale now for the House and Garden Tour on June 7th and 8th from 10am to 4pm. This year’s tour is in a familiar neighborhood. It’s been a retreat for recreation and reflection for over 150 years. It’s a place where our horticultural history and our ancestors have been planted. It’s a destination for flower lovers from around the world. Yes, lots of visitors know this neighborhood. But this is your chance to be more than casual visitor, as residents of the Mt Hope-Highland historic neighborhood welcome you into their homes.

Advance tickets:

  • Landmark Society members | $18
  • nonmembers | $22
  • On the days of the tour, tickets for all will be $25, if we are not sold out.

>>Click here to learn more and purchase your tickets now!