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?



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.



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!

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!

Special Achievement Award: Richard Reisem

The Landmark Society’s 2012 Preservation Awards were presented this year at a special event 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 this week’s Awards Ceremony, over the next few days we’ll be featuring some of this year’s award winners.

The Special Achievement Award recognizes accomplishments that have occurred over a lengthy period of time.

Richard Reisem

A trustee of The Landmark Society for over two decades, Richard Reisem has brought his exceptional and varied skills to a host of important projects in this community since moving to Rochester in the 1950s. A graduate of Iowa State University, with major studies in architecture, history and journalism, Richard has written fourteen books since retiring from Eastman Kodak Company’s Communications and Public Affairs Division in 1986. They include diverse subjects concerned with history and architecture, including Erie Canal Legacy, Classic Buffalo, and 200 Years of Rochester Architecture and Gardens in collaboration with photographer Andy Olenick. A former member of the Rochester Preservation Board, Richard lives in an 1868 Gothic Revival house in the city’s Highland/Mt. Hope neighborhood, where he has also been a long-time trustee of the Friends of Mt. Hope Cemetery. Author, researcher, tour-leader, and preservation activist, Richard Reisem has been a tireless advocate for this community’s historic resources for over five decades.

Visit our Success Stories page to see all of the 2012 Preservation Award winners.

Mount Hope Cemetery

Photo Courtesy of City of Rochester

Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester is one of the City’s most unique and treasured historic resources. Encompassing historic landscape features (trees, pathways, iron fencing) and historic structures (mausoleums, a chapel, tombstones, and a gazebo to name a few) and covering more than 110 acres, Mount Hope is also an extremely complex resource. Stewardship by the City of Rochester and the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery over the last few years illustrates the diverse strategies and funding sources that coalesce to make preservation on such a large scale successful.

Read on to learn more about Mount Hope and recent and ongoing efforts by the City and the Friends to preserve this incomparable resource for the continued enjoyment of Rochester’s residents and visitors alike. And, next time you walk the dog or head out for a leisurely stroll, think about exploring the beautiful landscape, architecture, and recent rehabilitation projects at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Dedicated in 1838, and listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1974, Mount Hope Cemetery is the oldest municipally operated Victorian cemetery in the United States.  Mount Hope is a rare example of rural Victorian cemetery design, a uniquely preserved urban park, a year round recreational resource and arboretum, a historic outdoor museum and, often most notably, the final resting place of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony.  Of its 110 total acres, 86 represent the earliest land acquisition history of the Cemetery, reflecting the rural cemetery style.  The geology of Mount Hope is complemented by the original forest in which Mount Hope’s design carefully took shape.  In 2009, more than 20% of the trees in Mount Hope were characterized as historic, reflecting 250 year old oak trees, as well as rare specimen trees gifted to the Cemetery in 1848 by famed 19th-century horticulturists George Ellwanger and Patrick Barry.

The Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery, established in 1980, have served alongside the City of Rochester, as stewards of Mount Hope Cemetery.  The Friends have advocated and lobbied for New York State and Federal investment in Mount Hope, as well as leveraged private support.  Grants, obtained by both partners, include support from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, the Preservation League of New York State, the Rochester Area Community Foundation, the Davenport Hatch Foundation, Eastman Kodak Charitable Trust, the New York State Quality Communities Program, the federal Save America’s Treasures program.

Much of the recent rehabilitation work in Mount Hope was implemented as a result of recommendations from a 2009 Cultural Landscape Report completed by Heritage Landscapes LLC, Preservation Landscape Architects & Planners and Wendel Duchscherer Architects & Engineers,PC.

Since 2000, the City of Rochester under the auspices of the New York State Historic Preservation Office, has dedicated more than $1,000,000 to preservation and rehabilitation projects within Mount Hope.  The Friends contribute thousands of volunteer hours through educational tours, adopt-a-plot efforts, and annual clean-up projects.

Major initiatives in the Cemetery have included: the repair and replacement of the 1874 Cemetery Gatehouse slate roof, 1862 Chapel roof stabilization, 1912 Chapel roof replacement and exterior rehabilitation, ADA improvements & front porch replacement to the Cemetery’s 19th century farmhouse which functions as the Cemetery office, hosting of the Historic Cemeteries Summit, microfilming and preservation of historic internment records, restoration of significant monuments and completion of historic road and wrought iron fencing assessments, a  Cultural Landscape Report and Tree Inventory in 2009, and most recently a Save America’s Treasures funded initiative intended to highlight Mount Hope’s period of significance within the Cemetery’s northern and oldest section.  The Save America’s Treasures initiative included façade and stair masonry repair and rehabilitation  for the 1862 Cemetery chapel designed by Henry Searle, the ca. 1867 Gould Mausoleum, and the ca. 1911 Rau Mausoleum, as well as significant repair work on the stone wall and iron fence that surround the ca. 1930 Yaky Family burial plot located near the north Gatehouse.

On average, 3,000 visitors annually participate in guided tours of Mount Hope offered May through October.  Many thousands more utilize the self-guided tour materials and enjoy the Cemetery as an historic recreational resource or outdoor museum year round.