Special Citation: Portageville Chapel Organ Retreat

The Landmark Society’s 2014 Preservation Awards will be presented this year at a special event on Sunday, November 16 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.

A Special Citation provides recognition for projects that do not fit into other categories or recognizes outstanding individual or group accomplishments in the field of historic preservation.

Portageville Chapel Organ Retreat
Route 19, hamlet of Portageville, Wyoming County

Portageville Chapel Image courtesy of the Portageville Chapel

Portageville Chapel                                                             Image courtesy of the Portageville Chapel

Located in a magnificent setting adjacent to Letchworth State Park, the Portageville Chapel organ retreat was created to provide a place of rest and renewal for professional organists. Originally built as a Universalist church in 1841, this handsome Greek Revival building continued as a house of worship into the early 1980s. Local residents then campaigned to save the vacant building, which was converted into a retail shop. By the 1990s, retail use ceased, but merchandise remained in the building through the next twenty years.

In 2007, organist and Wyoming Co. native Tim Smith formed a not-for-profit organization, which purchased the property and began its restoration as an organ retreat. Overgrown trees, deteriorated structures and other debris were removed from the site. Funded, in part, by a grant from the NYS Office of Historic Preservation, the extensive rehabilitation project included structural repairs, a new roof, a modern electrical system and restored Gothic window sash. The original pews were returned to the sanctuary and a modern pipe organ installed. An adjacent house was purchased and refurbished to provide accommodations for visiting musicians. Listed in the National and State Registers of Historic Places, the restored Portageville Chapel organ retreat is unique in the U.S. and provides a new and exciting use for an important landmark in the Genesee Valley.

Newly installed modern pipe organ.

Newly installed modern pipe organ.                 Image Courtesy of the Landmark Society

Organ and original pews Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

Organ and original pews                                     Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

 

Special Citation: Stantec Consulting Services

The Landmark Society’s 2014 Preservation Awards will be presented this year at a special event on Sunday, November 16 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.

A Special Citation provides recognition for projects that do not fit into other categories or recognizes outstanding individual or group accomplishments in the field of historic preservation.

Stantec Consulting Services
61 Commercial Street, city of Rochester

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Image courtesy of Stantec Consulting Services

This historic c. 1890 industrial building was originally designed as the power house for the Rochester Railway Company. At  the facility – one of the first of its kind – electricity was generated by harnessing the power of the Genesee River as it was diverted through Brown’s Race. By the late 20th century, the building became a storage space, manufacturing facility, then two short-lived entertainment venues.

Norry Management Company acquired the building in 2006, and together with Stantec Consulting Services, they rehabilitated this signature property using the Federal and State Investment Tax Credit program available for the renovation of income-producing buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Working with the NYS Office of Historic Preservation and the Rochester Preservation Board, the principles created a project that restored historic details, but also created dramatic new work spaces in the spacious interior. Window openings, long in-filled with brick, were reactivated, allowing daylighting throughout the interior. The design also included sustainable technologies and practices which earned LEED Certified status.

Historic Landscape Award: New York State Fish Hatchery

The Landmark Society’s 2014 Preservation Awards will be presented this year at a special event on Sunday, November 16 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.

New York State Fish Hatchery
16 North Street, village of Caledonia, Livingston County

NYS Fish Hatchery Caledonia                                                                             Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

This year is the 150th anniversary of the New York State Fish Hatchery in Caledonia, a milestone for this remarkable property, which is the oldest fish hatchery in the Western hemisphere. Established in 1864 by Rochesterian Seth Green, the hatchery is located on Oatka Creek, renowned for its exceptional qualities and conditions that make it ideal for the propagation of trout. Known as the “father of fish culture,” Green gained a world-wide reputation as a pioneer in both aquaculture and conservation.

Now operated by the New York State Department of Conservation, the hatchery features a picturesque campus that retains its historic buildings, as well as modern facilities.  It is open to the public year ‘round and maintains a schedule of activities focused on the breeding of brown and rainbow trout. Soon to be listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, the hatchery is a unique property whose historical, cultural, and scientific importance extends far beyond our region.

Button Lofts near completion

The Landmark Society’s Wayne Goodman recently got a sneak peek at two exciting rehab projects being completed by developer DHD Ventures–the adaptive use of the National Clothing Company building on Main Street into a Hilton Garden Inn and the Button Lofts project at Rutgers and Monroe Ave. Set to open in November, the Button Lofts project is nearing completion and we couldn’t be more excited! As you’ll see in the before and after photos below, this building has truly transformed–from an empty hulk of a building with blocked-in windows to a vibrant and functional space. Yet another preservation success story in the ongoing revitalization of the city we call home!

Take a look at the pictures below and, if you want to see more, check out one of the Button Lofts open houses on Saturdays. Follow the Button Lofts & Townhomes on Facebook for more photos and info.

Here’s the former Shantz Button Factory pre-rehab, just a little over a year ago:

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And here it is brought back to its former glory. What a difference some nice windows and a fresh coat of paint make! Notice the new sign that went up this past weekend.

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Here’s a view of the rear elevation from Rutgers St.:

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The new lofts are lit by enormous windows with amazing, panoramic views of Rochester.

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Just look at the size of this window opening:

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Each unit is unique but, in addition to the eye-popping views, they all have that industrial feel to them (with high ceilings, exposed ductwork, large wooden beamsposts, exposed beams and brick) that make adapted industrial spaces so appealing.

Ummm, a bathtub in front of these windows? With a view of Pinnacle Hill? Yes, please.

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In keeping with the bath theme, here’s a shower with subway tile and an industrial steel window. Who couldn’t use more natural light in the shower?

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This is one of the (partially finished) unique spaces created out of the one-story loading docks on the rear of the factory building. They feature multi-level lofted spaces.

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Curious about the Button Lofts name? This building and the two smaller brick buildings around it were built between 1903 and 1920 by Moses B. Shantz as a button factory complex. The Shantz Button Factory is one of only two surviving early twentieth century button manufacturing plants in Rochester.

Kudos to the project architect, Peter Wehner, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Associate and Senior Project Architect for Passero Associates (whose offices also happen to be in a superb adaptive use project)!

A Time Capsule to Call Home

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It was a past time of sorts for me, call it home sickness, call it procrastinating, to keep tabs on old houses that came for sale in and around Rochester during my years in college and then graduate school. I would occasionally pick a particularly jaw dropping one and post it to Facebook and brag to my out of state friends about the beautiful and affordable housing stock in Rochester. Their responses usually were ones of architectural admiration, and occasionally, jealousy. I distinctly remember the amazing colonial revival style home in Maplewood that had a textbook worthy Arts and Crafts interior, among many others that I spent countless hours perusing and drooling over.

As luck would have it, I had the great privilege of returning to Rochester May, 2013 with a job offer in hand at the architecture firm of my choice. I continued my past time of house window shopping focusing on more affordable options that could possibly be within my budget when it came time to purchase one for my own. It was on New Year’s Eve that I decided to make things a bit more real, picked up the phone and called fellow preservationist and realtor Rome Celli. We set up a series of showings across the City and Irondequoit, with some (not so) simple qualifying factors:

  • Good architectural design.
  • Somewhat close to downtown (19th Ward, Maplewood, South Wedge, North Winton Village, St. Paul Blvd Corridor)
  • The more original, the better!
  • Renovated bathrooms and kitchens, a travesty!
  • …progress be damned, I wanted a time capsule!

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After several showings, and almost submitting an offer on a great house on Lakeview Park, we finally got to see a small Tudor Revival style house off of St. Paul Boulevard that looked promising from the photos online. Time was of the essence, as the house had struggled to sell, had just been de-listed, and the owner intended on renovating the kitchen to help sell the house.

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From the photos I could tell that many of the features of the house were original, from the kitchen to the bathroom, light fixtures to built-ins, but one thing for sure was not original…the vinyl siding.

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On a whim, a day or so before our scheduled showing, I decided to do some research on the house, as I am an obsessive compulsive researcher. I could not have predicted, in my wildest dreams, the shear amount of documentation and information that turned up.

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This little house was “The Democrat and Chronicle Master Model Home of 1928” over a dozen newspaper articles, with photographs and drawings were published over a period of several months.

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After seeing the house in person I was smitten further, because with the few exceptions of the bathroom toilet, general appliances, and one light fixture, the house was completely original to 1928. This little house filled all of my tedious requirements, and had an interesting history to boot.Throwing all caution to the wind, I submitted an offer and through some back and forth had it accepted and closed in May, not even a year since I had moved back to Rochester.  Exciting? Yes. Naïve? Probably.

I then decided that I wanted to document the process of toiling over my first home for my own memory and for fellow preservationists enjoyment and entertainment. Thus, My Perfect Little Money Pit was born. I have done my best to keep the blog up to date, entertaining, and helpful for any of the people out there who are brave enough to be good stewards to old homes. I hope that it will inspire others to love old houses leaks, cracks, and all, and that other fellow preservationists might follow along as I learn and grow with my special little house. Oh, and just incase you were worried, the original story-book style cedar siding is still present underneath the vinyl and in good shape!

Follow the progress at http://myperfectlittlemoneypit.com/

Guest post by Christopher Brandt. Christopher is an Architect in Training at Bero Architecture PLLC, longtime volunteer and former Intern of The Landmark Society, and lifelong resident and champion of the greater Rochester area.

Check out some other historic house blogs below and post in the comments if we’ve missed any that you love!

http://ittybittybungalow.wordpress.com/

http://www.merrypad.com/

http://www.stuccohouse.blogspot.com/
http://the-kelly-house.blogspot.com/
http://anurbancottage.blogspot.com/
http://crockettstreethouse.wordpress.com/
http://ignitethecreativity.wordpress.com/
http://freshome.com/2014/07/17/historic-homes-still-manage-capture-hearts/

Saturday Day Trip: In-depth Frank Lloyd Wright Tour in Buffalo

New, in-depth and this time on a weekend – Saturday, June 21st, 2014.

It’s the ideal way to enjoy the daylight of the longest day of the year. Spend the summer solstice with us enjoying the 2 hour in-depth tour of the Martin House Complex in Buffalo, the delicious luncheon in the birthplace of American Arts and Crafts at the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora, and then the 2 hour in-depth tour at the Wright designed summer retreat Graycliff, high above Lake Erie.

Photo Courtesy Darwin Martin House Complex

 

If you’ve been on the regular tour, revisit those areas and delve into spaces not open to the regular touring public. If you’ve never been, this is an experience not available anyplace else in the U.S.

Photo Courtesy Graycliff

 

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We’ll meet in the Brighton area at 7 am (you can snooze on the motorcoach if you like) and get you back home by 7 pm.  Registration includes comfortable handicapped accessible motorcoach transportation, all tours and admission fees, luncheon, and the company of our executive director and staff escort.  No extra charge for the oooohs and ahhhs!

COST

Fee per person: $158 for Landmark Members   $183 for nonmembers.

REGISTRATION

Complete the Registration Form and return to The Landmark Society by May 22, 2014. Deadline extended to June 9, 2014!

Click here to download the Registration Form.

To request a hard copy of the Registration Form, please email Carolyn Haygood or call 546.7029 x11.

Registration Deadline: May 22, 2014

$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

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.

Best of 2013: 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 2013 with a highlight of 13 preservation successes.

1. Walk the Walk reaches over 1600 students

With a new specialized Rochester African-American History Rap program for 2nd graders, Walk the Walk this year reached a record-setting number of children–over 1600 students plus over 200 teachers and chaperones.

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2. Preservation Conference

Our Preservation Conference in the village of Brockport was a roaring success with new speakers, timely topics and nearly 200 community advocates, municipal leaders, and preservation professionals in attendance.IMG_20130420_095329_505

3. Launched Five to Revive program

In May, we announced our inaugural Five to Revive list, with Mayor Thomas Richards, County Executive Maggie Brooks, and Senator Joe Robach (among others) in attendance. Since then, we have been working with stakeholders to find solutions to move these properties forward towards revitalization. Two of the properties have rehabilitation plans in the works.

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Five to Revive press conference held in May, 2013 at the Pulaski Library. [Photo courtesy Richard Margolis]

4. Free Academy

2013 saw the completion of the rehabilitation of the Free Academy at 13 S. Fitzhugh St. in Rochester. One of downtown’s most recognizable buildings, the Free Academy had long been vacant. The award-winnng rehab project was completed by developers George and Katia Traikos.

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5. Inside Downtown Tour

Our Inside Downtown Tour in the Cascade District sold out. Nearly 2000 ticket holders toured rehabbed historic buildings in a downtown Rochester that is experiencing an exciting revitalization. The Tour showcased pivotal and award-winning adaptive reuses, including Bridge Square, the mid-century modern 44 Exchange, the Free Academy, and modern infill townhouses on Plymouth Ave.

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6. Stone-Tolan Historic Site

Due to the generosity of the Davenport-Hatch Foundation and the Rochester Area Community Foundation, this summer we were able to bring in some of the finest craftsmen in the region to bring this spectacular property back to its former glory.  Master carpenters Matt Sweger and Eric Cady rebuilt custom wooden storm windows, repaired trim, rebuilt animal pens and the wooden well as well as completed repairs on the historic barn. Tim McGrath and his meticulous crew of painters painted not only the house and barn but also the majestic wooden fence that encloses the heirloom apple orchard and runs the length of the property.

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Stone-Tolan Historic Site. Photo courtesy Richard Margolis.

7. Clarendon Stone Store

After a year and a half of cooperative marketing efforts and preservation advocacy with the Town of Clarendon, the Clarendon Stone Store was sold (for $1!) to new owners who have already begun rehabbing this iconic 1836 landmark. We can’t wait to see what 2014 brings!

Town Supervisor Richard Moy, right, presented the keys of the Clarendon Stone Stone to Sue and Joe Fertitta on Friday. The couple also was presented a souvenir T-Shirt from the town’s bicentennial. An image of the store is on the back of the shirt. Photo courtesy OrleansHub.com.

8. Over $15,000 in grant money

In the second year of the Preservation Grant Fund program, we provided $15,100 to help kickstart rehab projects for at-risk properties throughout the region. Grant recipients included: the Sampson Theatre in Penn Yan, Genesee Baptist Church in Rochester, Pratt Opera Theater in Albion, Church of God and Saints in Christ (former Leopold St. Shul) in Rochester, Pulaski Library in Rochester, Valentown Hall in Victor, Kingston Hotel in Canaseraga, and College Hall at the Elim Bible Institute in Lima.

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Pratt Opera Theater in Albion.

9. 660 W Main

Working with neighborhood residents, we advocated for the preservation and reuse of this vacant historic church in Rochester. Claiming that the building was a hazard and unfit for rehabilitation, in 2012, the owner proposed replacing the historic building with a new Dollar General store. A structural engineer’s report, funded by a Landmark Society grant, determined that the building was structurally sound. Although the ultimate fate of 660 W Main still remains uncertain, the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals denied the owner’s application for a variance to demolish the building.

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10. Ghost Walk’s 20th Anniversary

The award-winning Landmark Society Ghost Walk reached its 20th anniversary of sharing Rochester’s architecture and historic in a dramatic, spooky format.

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11. 19th Ward project begins

Working closely with the 19th Ward Community Association, we began a project to create four National Register Historic Districts in the 19th Ward neighborhood. National Register listing will allow homeowners to qualify for the NYS historic homeowner rehab tax credits, helping strengthen ongoing revitalization efforts in the neighborhood. To help complete this project, The Landmark Society and the 19th Ward Community Association were awarded generous grant funding from the Rochester Area Community Foundation, the Preservation League of New York State, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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12. Diamond Jubilee Celebration

Along with about 300 of our closest friends (members, donors and supporters), in November we celebrated 75 years of past accomplishments and the success of our new initiatives.

Over 300 members and supporters attended the Diamond Jubilee Celebration

Over 300 members and supporters attended the Diamond Jubilee Celebration

13. 75th Anniversary Campaign

At our Diamond Jubilee Celebration, we announced the successful completion of our 75th Anniversary fundraising campaign. Thanks to our many generous supporters we surpassed our goal, raising $555,000 to fund new initiatives and re-invigorate existing programs.

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