$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!

Young Urban Preservationists Launch Party

Introducing the Young Urban Preservationists! We are a new group of youngish folks interested in preservation and community revitalization. We come from various walks of life and various professions—lawyers, planners, doctors, veterinarians, architects, writers, artists—but we all have one thing in common: we care about our communities and we believe our historic resources play an important role in any community’s revitalization.

What does “young” mean? Whatever you want it to! We’re targeting those oft-maligned by the media “millenials” (aged 20 to about 40) but, more importantly, we want to connect with like-minded people who are invested in their communities and are young at heart.

Our kickoff event is at Black Button Distilling on Friday, March 28th. We’ll treat you to tours of the newly rehabbed historic space and some light hors d’oeuvres. Tastings of your choice of beer, wine, or liquor will be available for $5. Additional tastings for 50 cents.

Space is limited so reserve your spot now!
Eventbrite - Introducing The Landmark Society's Young Urban Preservationists!

#NYPresConf Session of the Week

The 2014 Statewide Preservation Conference theme is: FILL IN THE BLANK: Defining Preservation, A New York Statewide Conference. Join us in Rochester as we seek to expand the traditional definitions of preservation and to reach new audiences by challenging some of the common misconceptions about the field. We want to know what preservation means to you and what it could mean to others who are working to better their communities. So, join us in April to help Fill in the Blank.

Leading up to the Conference we’re featuring a Session of the Week to highlight one of our many sessions that are helping to broaden the definition of the field of preservation.

In celebration of the launch of our Young Urban Preservationists (YUP) group this week we are featuring a session from some fellow YUPs- Dana Saylor-Furman, Old Time Roots, Meagan Baco, HistPres.com and Benjamin Woelk- Co-Producer/Director of Slow Road Travel and their presentation Sneaky Preservation: Making Advocates through Emotional Experiences with Place.

Photo courtesy of John Carocci

Photo courtesy of John Carocci

Too often, preservationists face an uphill battle against unsympathetic government, new build-centric developers, and large organizations that don’t understand how historic buildings can fit into their portfolio of projects. What this requires is an engaged public, ready willing and able to stand firm for what is right and economically beneficial. However, if we can’t get people off their couch and out into the real world (Facebook slacktivism doesn’t count!), how can we make change?

Christa Glennie Seychew for Buffalo Spree Magazine

Christa Glennie Seychew for Buffalo Spree Magazine

This presentation will include success stories in engaging people in place through “sneaky preservation.” Much of the talk is inspired by lead presenter Dana Saylor’s experience as Event Planner for CITY of NIGHT at Buffalo’s grain elevators, where she realized the potential to change people’s mind about place by giving them an emotional or sentimental experience-based connection.

2014 City of Night event banner designed by Jon Furman

2014 City of Night event banner designed by Jon Furman

In Dana’s words:

Photo courtesy Dana Saylor-Furman

Photo courtesy Dana Saylor-Furman

I have learned a great deal about preservation through trying to save a building (that was ultimately demolished) and then, thoroughly demoralized, by avoiding preservation (by throwing a giant art party at Buffalo’s historic grain elevators). It was this avoidance that brought me full circle- to realize that my event, CITY of NIGHT, as it enters its third year, has transformed people and place, which is exactly the point of preservation, and good urbanism. Today, the relevance of the preservation movement is at stake; we must better learn how it can engage communities in new ways. This can be done by observing the successful work of people in cities, towns and rural areas, no matter how it is branded, and applying their lessons to what we all do.

This session is perfect for anyone with enthusiasm and passion for their community and its historic resources. Be prepared to discover outside-the-box ideas and inspiration for sharing your love of preservation and raising awareness throughout your community!

>>Click here to register now!

>>Click here to learn about other exciting session offerings.

>>Click here to read up on our other #NYPresConf sessions of the week.

Feeling social? Stay up to date on Conference happenings and share your thoughts using the hashtag #NYPresConf on Facebook and Twitter.

twitter-70 facebook-70

#NYPresConf Session of the Week

The 2014 Statewide Preservation Conference theme is: FILL IN THE BLANK: Defining Preservation, A New York Statewide Conference. Join us in Rochester as we seek to expand the traditional definitions of preservation and to reach new audiences by challenging some of the common misconceptions about the field. We want to know what preservation means to you and what it could mean to others who are working to better their communities. So, join us in April to help Fill in the Blank.

Leading up to the Conference we’re featuring a Session of the Week to highlight one of our many sessions that are helping to broaden the definition of the field of preservation.

This week we’re featuring a brand new addition to the Preservation Conference for 2014; Saturday Field Sessions! Now get more great speakers for one price, plus exclusive tour opportunities. If you can’t join us for the Conference on Friday April 25th, you can still purchase a Saturday only ticket for only $45, which includes your choice of Field Sessions and our esteemed Breakfast Speaker, Ed McMahon on The Dollars and Sense of Preserving Community Character.

Renowned author and authority on sustainable development, Ed McMahon, will describe how communities can protect their most valuable assets—the vibrant downtowns, historic buildings, landscapes, and viewsheds that contribute to the historic character that attracts visitors, residents, and investors alike. The “Dollars and Sense of Preserving Community Character” will address downtowns and the transformation of the strip, and include how communities can grow without destroying their unique character. His talk will touch on historic preservation, new design, green space, community gateways and how small towns can be successful in a rapidly changing world.

After breakfast it’s time to head out into the city for your chosen field sessions. Here’s a taste of what you could experience firsthand!

Embracing Mid-Century Modern – Adaptive Re-Use of a 1960s Downtown Commercial Building, with Bero Architecture’s Katie Eggers Comeau and John Page
This session is a case study highlighting the successful adaptive reuse of the Central Trust Building.

Photo Credit Bero Architecture, PLLC

The project began with a long-vacant office/bank building and a development team with a vision of rehabilitating it using rehabilitation tax credits – despite the fact that SHPO was initially not convinced this unassuming Mid-Century Modern building was eligible for the National Register.

44 Exchange apt 502 living area overview

Photo Credit Bero Architecture, PLLC

Participants will tour the public spaces and a private apartment as the presenters describe how the development team, architects, and SHPO worked together to find solutions to ensure successful completion of the project.

Creating Sustainable Identity: The GardenAerial Project, with Michael A. Philipson, Benjamin Woelk, Maranne McDade Clay of Friends of the GardenAerial, and Christopher Brandt of Bero Architecture, PLLC
The city of Rochester is at a crossroads. The old positioning of the city is based on outmoded models of large corporate entities determining future paths. New positioning will require a re-thinking of Rochester itself and how we might get there through a change in perspective.

Photo Credit Friends of the GardenAerial

Photo Credit Friends of the GardenAerial

Friends of the GardenAerial (FoGA) will detail the varied work involved in the early stage implementation of the envisioning, fundraising, preservation, and development of partnerships that have led to the Friends of the GardenAerial’s early success in reclaiming public use and access of the High Falls Heritage Area, an urban historic cultural landscape in downtown Rochester, New York.

Planning the Future of a Historic Landscape: The Master Plan for Genesee Valley Park West, with Zakery D. Steele of Bayer Landscape Architecture, PLLC and Katie Eggers Comeau of Bero Architecture, PLLC
Frederick Law Olmsted declared the land that would become Genesee Valley Park an “almost ideal” pastoral park site – yet the factors that made the land appealing also made it a desirable location for later incompatible development.

Genesee Valley Park West Master Plan

This session will present the master plan process currently underway in Genesee Valley Park West as a case study in balancing historic integrity with modern needs of a regional-scale recreation park.

Genesee Valley Park West Master Plan

The case study provides an example of how Olmsted’s legacy is faring in present-day Rochester, and how Olmsted’s broad-minded principles can continue to provide inspiration in addressing today’s challenges.

Case Study: How to Create and Develop a Historic Building, with Peter R. Wehner and Christopher Montante of Passero Associates, and preservation consultant, Saralinda Hooker
This session will demonstrate how to take an old building and create a historically correct development project.  The Bridge Square project will be used as an example project and will review the process and lessons learned.

Photo Courtesy Don Corcoran Photography

Photo Courtesy Don Corcoran Photography

Bridge Square is an urban redevelopment project into a mixed use commercial building.  Issues discussed and topics covered will include: finding the right development mix; how to sensitively design a historic rehab project; hiring the right consultants; the SHPO approval process; tax credit financing options; dealing with IDA’s; and NYSERDA rebates and dealing with the consolidated funding application. Best of all, participants will enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of this unique and exciting rehab project in downtown Rochester.

A Slice of the Wedge: Revitalizing Rochester’s South Wedge Neighborhood, with Robert Boyd
This session will literally walk participants through the revitalization of Rochester’s eclectic South Wedge neighborhood.

Rochester_SouthAve_03-17-2011_10Participants will see firsthand how streetscape improvements, public art, historic rehab, sensitive modern infill, the investment of local businesses, and the involvement of an active and engaged citizenry, have combined to fuel the recent and ongoing revitalization of one of Rochester’s most sought-after neighborhoods. Participants will also see how these elements have created a unique sense of place and identify for the South Wedge, making it an appealing and economically viable neighborhood.

We hope you can join us on Saturday April 25, especially if you are not able to attend the full Conference on Friday, for this exciting day of speakers and field sessions!

>>Click here to register now!

>>Click here to learn about other exciting session offerings.

Feeling social? Stay up to date on Conference happenings and share your thoughts using the hashtag #NYPresConf on Facebook and Twitter.

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#NYPresConf Session of the Week

One of the primary goals of the 2014 Conference is to expand the traditional definitions of preservation and to reach new audiences by challenging some of the common misconceptions about the field. We also want to continue to engage new audiences who have a latent interest in preservation and revitalization but who may not identify themselves as “preservationists” per se. We want to know what preservation means to you and what it could mean to others who are working to better their communities. Leading up to the Conference we’re featuring a Session of the Week to highlight one of our many sessions that are helping to broaden the definition of the field of preservation.

This week’s featured session is Promote-Sustain-Preserve Our Regional Economy One Main Street At A Time.

The session will be led by:

389743_590148827668453_130623417_nRoxanne Kise has over thirty years of diverse experience in program development, promotion, communication, volunteer coordination, and municipal leadership that allows her to bring an outside of the box look at community development.

For the past two and half years, she has served as the Western Erie Canal Alliance Main Street Regional Coordinator/ Executive Director.  There she had developed coalitions and new partnerships that will enable Western Erie Canal Alliance to move Main Streets in the Western Erie Canal Heritage Corridor and the surrounding communities on a path to economic and cultural prosperity and sustainability.

Roxanne is a graduate of SUNY Morrisville.

Beth Kravetz has over 12 years of experience in the marketing and communication field.  She currently operates as a freelance marketing professional assisting her clients with their marketing strategy, branding, public relations and social media initiatives.  She also serves on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity of Ontario County.

Ms. Kravetz is the project manager for the Western Erie Canal Alliance, assisting the Board of Directors and Main Street Executive Directors with the development and execution of their marketing plan that promotes the organization’s position as a conduit and partner to regional communities.

She received her B.A. from St. John Fisher College and her M.A. from the University of Phoenix.

lockport main streetHeather Peck is the program manager for Lockport Main St, Inc. – a not-for-profit agency that has been charged with promoting the city of Lockport, attracting new businesses to its downtown, and providing support to existing businesses.

A former college administrator and Red Cross official, Ms. Peck brings experience from both the not-for-profit and private sectors to the organization.  Previously serving as director of public relations and fund development for the Utica, N.Y. Chapter of the American Red Cross, Ms. Peck oversaw communications operations during relief efforts in Alabama and the Florida panhandle following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  She later administered a concurrent-enrollment program providing college-level classes to high school students in more than 20 school districts in Upstate New York.

She holds a master’s degree in communication from the University of Colorado, and completed her undergraduate studies at SUNY Binghamton.

albionKatelin Olson- The former Executive Director of the  Albion Main Street Alliance (2009-2013), Katelin is a historic preservationist focused on partnering building owners with economic development resources.  Katelin has a M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Cornell in the Department of City and Regional Planning.

lyonsmainstreetprogramJoan Delaro joined the Lyons Main Street Program, Inc. in July, 2013 as Program Manager.  Prior to this position Joan worked as Project Manager for the Western Erie Canal Alliance.  She visited the communities along the Erie Canal through the counties of Wayne, Monroe, Orleans, Niagara and Erie. Along with enjoying the small canal villages Joan gained knowledge of the historic communities, their value to our modern life and preservation of our heritage.  This position gave her experience with the National Trust Main Street Program ™.  With a background in tourism, Joan understands the importance of preservation and promotion of the whole community. As owner of Glacier Lakes Tours, a receptive tour company for the Finger Lakes Region, she leaned the ups and downs of a small business.  Joan’s experience in the business community has given her a personal insight into running a business and how important community involvement and promotion needs to be.


Main Street in Albion, NY

Western Erie Canal Alliance (WECA) recognizes ongoing Main Street and Community Development as a building block in the preservation of New York State’s unique historic landscape.

A boat on the Erie Canal in Clyde, NY.

A boat on the Erie Canal in Clyde, NY.

Healthy communities revolve around healthy main streets and encourage preservation of their historic assets as an integral part of their economic development.

The Palace Theatre, Lockport, NY

WECA will give an overview of key strategies for communities to develop healthy Main Streets through historic preservation/revitalization, grass roots organization and participation, progressive economic sustainability and strategic regional and community marketing.

The Erie Canal sets New York State, especially Western New York, apart with its unique history and geographic footprint. It is a resource that is helping to redefine preservation and serves as an enormous catalyst for revitalization. This session would be great for municipal leaders of all communities (not just Canal towns!), small business owners, civic activists, or tourism professionals.

>>Click here to register for the Conference now at special early bird pricing until April 1st!

>>Click here to learn about other exciting session offerings.

Feeling social? Stay up to date on Conference happenings and share your thoughts using the hashtag #NYPresConf on Facebook and Twitter.

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“Double-hung with a twist:” FoldUp Windows from Heartwood Windows

The Historic Sherwood Inn, Skaneateles, NY.  FoldUp Windows, exterior.

The Historic Sherwood Inn, Skaneateles, NY. FoldUp Windows, exterior.

Some products are just difficult to improve. For instance, take the common wood pencil. No matter how much you spend on mechanics, fancy graphite or plastic casings, there are times when nothing performs quite like a good, solid wood pencil.  And guys, how about a quality shave with a straight razor? One can purchase the latest six-bladed, gel-infused cartridge, but nothing can compete with a professional close shave with a straight razor sitting in a barber’s chair – as long as you really trust the barber.  Until a few months ago, I was fairly convinced that there was another product that could be added to this list of basic, proven and dependable items that innovation should avoid –the classic design of the double-hung sash window.

The initial development of the double-hung sash window was, and still remains, brilliant. Developed in Great Britain during the  17thCentury, the window’s early design actually counters gravity, allows two adjustable areas of air flow from the top and bottom of the window, can be built to fit almost any sized opening, allows for ease of screen installation and does not project from the building’s wall. The historic double-hung window can generally be repaired over and over again for generations, perhaps making it the most economical window in human history.  To this day, they are still the most common type of window used in both new construction and in renovations. Historic double-hung windows that are maintained, will literally last hundreds of years.

While still an amazing architectural component, the double-hung is not perfect. No architectural element can claim perfection. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright even referred to them as “guillotine windows,” during his unapologetic promotion of casement windows.  And, while double-hung windows are dependable and have a classic appeal, they do not fit every building type and obviously do not serve every need to fill an opening in a wall.  The view out the window tends to get blocked by muntins that separate individual panes of window glass.  The bottom and top rails of each sash do have a way of also obstructing the view through the window.  While having ventilation at the top and bottom of the window opening is quite nice, there are times when a builder, architect or homeowner needs to have the entire space free of any obstruction at all for a variety of reasons; in other words, there are times when the entire window opening needs to be . . . well . . . open.  But, how could one achieve a classic look of a double-hung sash window, while at the same time offering a full opening?

The Historic Sherwood Inn, FoldUp Windows, interior open process.

The Historic Sherwood Inn, FoldUp Windows, interior open process.

Heartwood Windows recently released a product that does just that. The FoldUp Window was invented, designed and manufactured right here in western New York at Heartwood, a division of Rochester Colonial Manufacturing.  The look is incredibly traditional, built of traditional material, but this window folds up “from the middle,” doubling the opened space and not diminishing the area of usable living space in a given room. On numerous occasions I’ve seen hinges on top of a single-sash window that was built to resemble a double-hung. Those windows were generally large, bulky and cumbersome to operate. They usually were unlocked at the bottom, rotated on top-mounted hinges and were somehow hooked into place on the room’s ceiling. These FoldUp windows, however, are different.  There still exists, technically, two sashes that operate, but they operate by rotating where the sashes are joined together on the rails, instead of sliding. There are no hooks on ceilings and no hinges on the top of the window. I should also mention that these windows could have the potential to also solve building code egress issues that can be common hindrances in traditional design (the need to have a large enough opening to quickly vacate a space). The window is a double-hung with a twist.

The Historic Sherwood Inn.  FoldUp Windows, interior closed.

The Historic Sherwood Inn. FoldUp Windows, interior closed.

I am a preservationist. I will always be in love with the traditional, historic double-hung window – its look and its operation. I do not support replacing the quality historic window.  I will never waiver from my staunch defense of preserving the historic wood window on the grounds of not only aesthetics, but also economics. However, I do see some possible benefits with the new FoldUp window in certain circumstances; perhaps most notably in new construction that seeks compatibility with the old.  I can also envision well-designed additions to historic buildings possibly taking a look at these windows . . . sunrooms, porches, etc.  Restaurants, wanting that classic look and feel, but also desiring to bring in the outdoors to their customers might find these windows to be a viable option.

The Historic Sherwood Inn, FoldUp Windows, interior open.

The Historic Sherwood Inn, FoldUp Windows, interior open.

For the right purpose, these windows could be the right answer. It is refreshing to see innovation that has a real purpose behind it, as opposed to innovation as a marketing tool. Does Heartwood’s FoldUp window replace the traditional and historic double-hung? Not at all. But, does it make creative modifications that might have merit? Absolutely.  As with any new product, time will be of the essence in determining how the product performs over the course of its lifespan. And, as is customary, our organization does not endorse any product.  So, we do not make any statements endorsing any product’s quality or price. We always encourage the community to do their homework before any purchase or construction project.  While time and the longevity of use will be the judge on the overall product’s performance, I do applaud the creativity and ingenuity in its development.

You can check out Heartwood’s new FoldUp Window at their website, by using the following link. Click on “video clip” to see the windows in operation:  http://www.heartwoodwindowsanddoors.com/FoldUp.aspx

Written by The Landmark Society of Western New York Executive Director, Wayne Goodman.  All photos courtesy of Heartwood Windows.

Be a valentine times two!

Place a bid on The Landmark Society’s eBay auction and you may win a pair of diamond earrings for the love of your life.


Forsythe Jewelers donated a pair 14K Yellow Gold .75TW GH/SI diamond studs for our Diamond Jubilee silent auction. They also offered to reset them in a 14K white gold 4-prong basket at no additional charge. But we didn’t receive the type of bid that was worthy of these stunning earrings. So we decided to offer our friends a valentine of our own!

By supporting your favorite organization you have the chance to surprise your special someone with the valentine of their life.

>>Click here to place your bid now.

The Historic Tax Credit Program & Appropriate Design Workshop


Join AIA Rochester and The Landmark Society on February 18 for a new workshop designed with architects, developers and property owners in mind: The Historic Tax Credit Program & Appropriate Design, featuring experts from the Buffalo-based historic preservation firm, Preservation Studios.

>>Click here for more information

Preservation Commission Workshop (Fall 2012)

As part of our free Spring and Fall Workshop series for members of area Preservation Boards and Commissions, we met up last week at the Morgan-Manning House (headquarters for the Western Monroe Historical Society) in the village of Brockport. With Thanksgiving just two days away, an intimate (and dedicated!) group gathered from communities such as Palmyra, Naples, Fairport, Greece, Brockport, Batavia, even Buffalo!

The topic for the evening:

Making the Case in Your Community:
The Economics of Preservation & Main St

(with a short case study from Associate Director of Preservation, Larry Francer, on the Courthouse Girls of Farmland)

The takeaway message: Preservation makes sense. Rehabilitation of our older buildings and structures fosters economic development, community revitalization, and creates more jobs per dollar invested than new construction or other industries.

For those who couldn’t make it, you can view the full presentation by clicking below:

Thank you to the Village of Brockport and the Western Monroe Historical Society for hosting us!