Best of 2016: Preservation Successes in WNY

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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 2016 with our Top 12 (we couldn’t limit ourselves to just 10!) preservation successes.

Thank you to everyone who supports our work; together we can make a difference in communities across WNY. You can continue to support successes in your community by donating to our 2016 Annual Fund.

Here’s to many more successes in 2017!

1. Lyons saves 2 buildings and creates new historic district

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Arsenau House before rehab and repairs began

Local preservation advocates in the former village of Lyons rallied this past summer to save two historic buildings slated for demolition. Wayne County officials proposed to demolish the Arsenau House and the Park Bakery, two prominent buildings in the center of the village, facing the public square. With advice from Landmark Society staff, preservationists were able to convince Wayne County to offer the properties at public auction before moving towards demolition. The buildings were acquired by local residents and are in the process of being rehabilitated.

Arsenau House, after an exterior paint job and repairs

Arsenau House, after an exterior paint job and repairs

With assistance from Landmark Society staff, the Lyons Main Street Program successfully applied for funding to create a new National Register Historic District in the downtown commercial core. National Register listing will allow property owners to take advantage of the NYS and Federal historic tax credit programs.Work is well underway and the district should be in place in 2017.

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2. Food truck zone at St. Joseph’s Park

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Working with the City of Rochester, we were able to establish an official food truck zone right outside of St. Joseph’s Park. Partnering with our friends at Staach, we celebrated with a cleanup day and poutine from Le Petite Poutine. Earlier in the summer, Staach and Weld Works, LLC also worked with us to fabricate brand new benches for the park. Thanks to Staach, Weld Works, Rochester Downtown Development Corporation, the City of Rochester, the Rochester Police Department, and all those who have supported our work to improve St. Joseph’s Park and make it a downtown destination!

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3. Sunset Concerts play at Landmark Society sites

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This summer, the folks at Sunset Concerts expanded their programming to all three of our historic sites. Evening concerts at St. Joseph’s Park, Stone-Tolan Historic Site, and Ellwanger Garden attracted new crowds to these irreplaceable historic spaces.

4. Celebrate City Living launched

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Working with our partners in the Rochester Coalition for Neighborhood Living (which includes the City of Rochester, M&T Bank, Ibero-American Development Corp, The Housing Council at PathStone, NeighborWorks® Rochester, Citizens Bank, Greater Rochester Association of  Realtors, Game Plan Marketing, ROC City Realty, New2U Homes, Hart’s Local Grocers and Magellan Realty), we launched a new program designed to promote city living, housing, and neighborhoods. Celebrate City Living is a year-round program to encourage city residency for consumers at every stage of the housing search, including renters, first-time homebuyers, experienced owners, those who require financial assistance and those seeking high-end, luxury spaces.

The CCL website (www.celebratecityliving.com), along with the annual Celebrate City Living Expo in April and other neighborhood celebrations throughout the year, help consumers search city neighborhoods for a house or apartment and connect them to available resources, including REALTORS®, landlords, lenders, and non-profit agencies that specialize in city housing.

Follow along with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

5. YUPs join Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists

Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists meetup in Buffalo

Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists meetup in Buffalo

This past spring, the YUPs were proud to join a new coalition of young preservationist groups from across the Rust Belt (and beyond). Meetups took place in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Cincinnatti. The Coalition has fostered collaboration and friendships. Learn more on the RBCoYP blog and follow along on Instagram.

Inspired by fellow RBC members, the YUPs also held the first heart bombing event. (Never heard of heart bombing? Click here to learn more). Despite the exceptionally frigid temps, the event was a great success! The YUPs partnered with the Lincoln Branch Library to teach kids about the value that historic buildings can have in their community and how vacant buildings can be turned around to become assets to the community. We’ll be heart bombing again February 11, 2017–stay tuned for details!

6. East Main Street Downtown Historic District completed

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Photo: Gina DiBella

The Landmark Society completed the National Register nomination for the East Main Street Downtown Historic District. The district encompasses a five-block area on the east side of the Genesee River in downtown Rochester, including one of our 2015 Five to Revive listings, the E. Main St./N. Clinton Ave. retail district. Although the heart of the district is East Main Street, portions of streets that extend north and south with contiguous historic properties are included: Mortimer Street, Division Street, Franklin Street, Pleasant Street, Atlas Street, Achilles Street and Liberty Pole Way.

The district was approved by the State Review Board in the fall and will be sent to the National Park Service for final approval shortly. With this listing, nearly 30 properties can now access the historic tax credit programs, which should help spur the ongoing revitalization of the downtown core.

7. Geneva receives Downtown Revitalization Initiative

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Downtown Geneva was selected as the winner of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative in the Finger Lakes region. Over the last decade, Geneva has emerged as a major employment center, boasting over 200 firms and nearly 1,500 jobs in the central business district alone. Geneva’s historic walkable downtown is poised to become a vibrant retail, dining, cultural and entertainment destination for the burgeoning workforce and for students at the three local colleges. Under the DRI, the City will focus on the rehabilitation of key buildings; diversification of housing and retail options; access to healthy food; and building entrepreneurship in the downtown area.

We’ll be partnering with local leaders in Geneva to facilitate the rehabilitation of downtown historic buildings, including our 2016 Five to Revive, the Dove Block.

8. LGBTQ Initiative launched

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In August, we announced the launch of our newest initiative–a Rochester LGBTQ Landmarks Survey. The survey will identify landmarks of significance in the history of Rochester’s LGBTQ community and recognize their importance both historically and culturally.

9. Landmark Travel Tours goes to Cuba!

Our travel tour program left the country for this first time in years to journey to Cuba. It was an educational, jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring trip at a time when the country is undergoing significant changes. We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…

 

10. Conference goes to Albany

Photo: Chris Brazee

Photo: Chris Brazee

For the first time ever, our Statewide Preservation Conference ventured outside western New York to the Capital Region to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. Partnering with our colleagues at Historic Albany Foundation, the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, and the Preservation League of NYS, we again had record-setting attendance, with just under 350 preservationists from across the state.

11. Phase 1 of Citywide survey completed

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Working on behalf of the City of Rochester, with funding from the City and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, we completed the first phase of a multi-year project to update a 1986 historic resources survey of the city of Rochester. As part of this first, pilot phase, we surveyed historic resources (buildings, parks, structures, and neighborhoods) in the city’s southeast quadrant. This project was an outgrowth of a past Five to Revive listing–the city’s Designated Buildings of Historic Value. Pending funding for future phases, we hope to continue this important work to document and catalog Rochester’s historic places.

12. Eastman Dental Dispensary saved

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Eastman Dental Dispensary before rehab.

What could be more appropriate to cap off our year of preservation successes than one of the biggest success stories in recent history? Built in 1917, the former Eastman Dental Dispensary had been vacant since the 1980s. It remained one of the most prominent at-risk historic buildings in the city until Home Leasing and Edgemere Development took on the $20 million rehab project. Now known as Eastman Gardens, the rehabilitated building provides affordable housing for seniors. The project recently received a NY State Historic Preservation Award.

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Eastman Gardens, after rehab.

 

Of course, none of these successes would be possible without the support of our members, donors, sponsors, tour-goers, and the community at large. So THANK YOU for supporting our work to protect irreplaceable historic places and revitalize communities.

You can continue to support our work across the region by making a contribution to our 2016 Annual Fund. 

 

NY Statewide Preservation Conference

The 2016 Statewide Preservation Conference will take place May 5-7th in Albany and Troy. We’re moving east to the Capital Region to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). This year’s Conference theme is Preservation50: NYS. Preservation50 is a nationwide effort to celebrate, learn from, and leverage the NHPA’s first five decades to assure historic preservation’s vibrant future in America.The 2016 Statewide Preservation Conference will be all about celebrating our past achievements and planning for the future of historic preservation in New York State.

>>Visit the Conference website for complete details. 

The 2016 NY Statewide Preservation Conference is presented by The Landmark Society of Western New York, in collaboration with Historic Albany Foundation, the Preservation League of New York State, and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Session Profile: On The Road

Rural Arts Creative Placemaking and Advocacy

The 2016 Statewide Preservation Conference Preservation50: NYS begins this Thursday. Sessions and activities will celebrate our past achievements and help us plan for the future of historic preservation in New York State. Join us in the Capital Region on May 5-7 as we mark the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Downtown Shepherdstown, WV. Photo by Amy Brooks.

Downtown Shepherdstown, WV. Photo by Amy Brooks.

Our last session profile highlights a session that will look at current events and trends in rural arts placemaking throughout the country. Session leaders Amy Brooks and Pilar McKay will review latest trends and best practices from rural arts creative placemaking.

Rural historic places need magic. Before art is introduced, we often pass them with a sense of hopelessness: Who would ever rehab this space? Who would ever purchase this building? Who would ever do something with “this”? Why “here”?  Art reframes assumptions about location and dares us to see and, consequently, to use public places in new ways.

Downtown Sheherdstown, WV. Photo by Amy Brooks.

Downtown Sheherdstown, WV. Photo by Amy Brooks.

Shake on the Lake 2015 at the Village of Perry Beach in Silver Lake, NY.

Shake on the Lake 2015 at the Village of Perry Beach in Silver Lake, NY.

As the co-founders of Rural Arts Weekly (@RuralArtsWeekly), a digital community of rural arts advocates, Brooks and McKay have experience in creative placemaking – particular through theatre – and will share ways to reach out to your artistic communities and start projects you’ve been imagining in your community. “We believe in the necessity of arts in placemaking and how valuable creativity can be to historic preservation in rural areas,” said McKay.

Ajo Street Art Project in Ajo, Arizona, 2016.

Ajo Street Art Project in Ajo, Arizona, 2016.

Rural Arts Weekly has started a six-month road trip, having already visited Arizona, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. “We’re gathering and sharing rural arts and placemaking ‘best practices’ from communities that we’ve seen so far,” said McKay. Those who attend this session will get a preview of what’s to come this summer, including a tour of Appalachia.

For more information on Rural Arts Weekly, a weekly Twitter chat for rural arts advocates, see this article from The Daily Yonder, “Rural Arts Conversation Moves Online,” http://www.dailyyonder.com/rural-arts-conversation-moves-online/2015/11/16/9746/.

Shake on the Lake 2015 at the Village of Arcade Park in Arcade, NY

Shake on the Lake 2015 at the Village of Arcade Park in Arcade, NY

Session Speakers:

Pilar McKay, Shake on the Lake and Rural Arts Weekly
Pilar McKay, Ph.D. is a rural arts and culture advocate, active placemaker, and communications professor. Committed to applying theory in practice, she serves as an accelerator on many start-up arts projects with small budgets and large goals. In 2011, she co-founded and serves as managing director of Shake on the Lake, a Shakespeare Festival headquartered in her hometown of Perry, New York. She is also managing partner of Silver Lake Brewing Project, producing a film on immigrants’ impact on food culture in a post-industrial rural community, and teaching advertising and research methods at American University.

Amy Brooks, Rural Arts Weekly
Amy Brooks is a Central Appalachian rural arts advocate, rural creative placemaker, and dramaturg. Her professional focus is facilitating conversations by asking questions (preferably over food). Amy has served as Humanities Director for the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. She is also a co-founder and producer of the UMass New Play Lab, a national diversity-focused play workshop in its third year.  Amy received her BFA in theater from West Virginia University in her hometown of Morgantown, WV, and is currently completing an MFA in dramaturgy at University of Massachusetts Amherst.

 >>If you can’t miss this session, click here to register now!

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

Session Profile: Beyond Stonewall

Recognizing Historic and Cultural Sites in New York State Related to the LGBT Community

The 2016 Statewide Preservation Conference theme is Preservation50: NYS and is all about celebrating our past achievements and planning for the future of historic preservation in New York State. Join us in the Capital Region on May 5-7 as we mark the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Our next session profile focuses on a session that will include a panel discussion on how to recognize historic and cultural sites related to the LGBT community in New York State.

Despite the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community being active as shapers of American culture and as the professional keepers of that heritage, LGBT place-based history in NYS and NYC has not been documented and remains invisible.

Apollo Theater, 125th Street Harlem This world-renowned theater featured nearly every leading African-American performer in a permanent variety show format from the 1930s to the ‘70s, including LGBT icons Alberta Hunter, "Moms" Mabley, Johnny Mathis, Little Richard, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Billy Preston, Carolyn Franklin (Aretha's singer/songwriter sister), Clara Ward, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Marie Knight, James Cleveland, Alex Bradford, and Luther Vandross. In the 1960s, the popular drag show, Jewel Box Revue, was often hosted by its sole woman, lesbian Stormé DeLarverie.

Apollo Theater, 125th Street Harlem
This world-renowned theater featured nearly every leading African-American performer in a permanent variety show format from the 1930s to the ‘70s, including LGBT icons Alberta Hunter, “Moms” Mabley, Johnny Mathis, Little Richard, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Billy Preston, Carolyn Franklin (Aretha’s singer/songwriter sister), Clara Ward, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Marie Knight, James Cleveland, Alex Bradford, and Luther Vandross. In the 1960s, the popular drag show, Jewel Box Revue, was often hosted by its sole woman, lesbian Stormé DeLarverie.

There is a glaring irony in the near-total absence of historic sites of significance to and about the LGBT community. In spite of the historic and cultural contributions of LGBT Americans, only seven of the over 80,000 sites on the National Register of Historic Places have been listed for their primary association with LGBT history.

In NYC and NYS, no survey currently exists of sites associated with significant LGBT history. The lack of documentation has prevented effective advocacy, leaving potentially significant sites unappreciated and threatened, and preservation officials at a loss for criteria to evaluate sites for LGBT historic context and significance.

Alice Austin House, Staten Island Pioneering female photographer Alice Austen grew up in her family’s “Clear Comfort” home where she later lived with Gertrude Tate, her partner of 50 years. Austen’s work includes early images of women embracing, in bed together, and dressed in male drag, all of which have since become iconic to the LGBT community.

Alice Austin House, Staten Island
Pioneering female photographer Alice Austen grew up in her family’s “Clear Comfort” home where she later lived with Gertrude Tate, her partner of 50 years. Austen’s work includes early images of women embracing, in bed together, and dressed in male drag, all of which have since become iconic to the LGBT community.

“LGBT history is part of American history and world history, and these sites deserve listing alongside the historic sites representing every other group that contributes to the world’s cultural heritage,” said Andrew Scott Dolkart, co-director of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.

Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse, Soho The Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) became the leading gay liberation organization of the early 1970s and moved into this firehouse in 1970. Before a 1974 arson fire destroyed the interior, the GAA Firehouse served as the LGBT community's first organizational and social center in New York with regularly scheduled dances, performances, and film presentations.

Gay Activists Alliance Firehouse, Soho
The Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) became the leading gay liberation organization of the early 1970s and moved into this firehouse in 1970. Before a 1974 arson fire destroyed the interior, the GAA Firehouse served as the LGBT community’s first organizational and social center in New York with regularly scheduled dances, performances, and film presentations.

This session will discuss issues, strategies, and directions for documenting LGBT place-based history. Statewide panelists will discuss national LGBT documentation projects, new approaches for NR listings, and highlight the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, which will make an invisible history visible by commemorating sites important to the LGBT community and those that document its contributions to US history and culture.

Related Links:
http://nyclgbtsites.org
https://rainbowheritagenetwork.org

Session Speakers:

Jay Shockley, Co-Director, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
Jay Shockley is co-author of the Stonewall nomination (1999) that resulted in first NRHP listing for an LGBT site and subsequent only National Historic Landmark listing. He is a participant in “A Guide to Lesbian & Gay New York Historical Landmarks” map project (1994) and creator and leader of the panel “Beyond Stonewall: Recognizing Significant Historic Sites of the LGBT Community” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference (Buffalo, 2011). Since 1979, Jay has served as a historian at Landmarks Preservation Commission, where he has researched and written over 100 designation reports covering all aspects of the city’s architectural, social, and cultural history.

Amanda Davis, Project Manager, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
Amanda Davis is a New York City-based architectural historian and surveyor who previously served as the Director of Preservation and Research at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. At GVSHP, she worked on a number of LGBT-related projects, including a plaque installation commemorating PFLAG founder Jeanne Manford and a National Register eligibility letter for Julius’ bar. In Pasadena, CA, she worked for Architectural Resources Group as an architectural historian/preservation planner and collaborated with the City of Los Angeles’ Office of Historic Resources on its innovative SurveyLA initiative. Her preservation career began as an intern at the Central Park Conservancy and then in the research department of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Andrew S. Dolkart, Professor, Historic Preservation Program, Columbia University School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation; Co-Director, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
Andrew S. Dolkart is co-author of the Stonewall nomination (1999) that resulted in first NRHP listing for an LGBT site and subsequent only National Historic Landmark listing. He is a participant in “A Guide to Lesbian & Gay New York Historical Landmarks” map project (1994), author of scores of NRHP nominations, panelist in “Beyond Stonewall: Recognizing Significant Historic Sites of the LGBT Community” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference (Buffalo, 2011), and author of the NRHP Julius’ Bar nomination (2016).

Christopher N. Brown, Director, The Allentown Association, Inc.
Christopher N. Brown is a Vice President of Technology for M&T Bank and has nearly 30 years of experience in historic preservation and community activism in Buffalo, New York.  Former president of the Allentown Association, Inc., and Kleinhans Community Association, he currently serves as Chairman of Kleinhans Music Hall Management, Inc., which is responsible for the ongoing care and restoration of that National Historic Landmark.  Brown also was sponsor and co-author of two National Register historic district nominations:  Allentown and Fargo Estate, both of which included the contributions of LGBT residents who helped to define these neighborhoods’ characteristics.  Brown and his partner, David F. Granville, make their home in Buffalo’s Allentown Historic Preservation District.

Larry Francer, Associate Director of Preservation, The Landmark Society of Western New York
Larry Francer joined The Landmark Society as the Associate Director of Preservation in September of 2012. Local preservationist, courthouse activist, business owner, religious leader, Zumba enthusiast, filmmaker and actor, Larry Francer is a true renaissance man.  Before moving to Rochester, Larry and his husband, Jerome Herron, lived in Farmland, Indiana for over two decades where they worked tirelessly to help turn that tiny town into a true destination. Francer was Co-Executive Producer of the documentary “Courthouse Girls of Farmland,” which, among other honors, won the first place Audience award at the Breckinridge Festival of Film.

 >>If you can’t miss this session, click here to register now!

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

Session Profile: Learning from the Past 50 Years

Capturing Preservation Narratives to Inspire the Future

The 2016 Statewide Preservation Conference theme is Preservation50: NYS and is all about celebrating our past achievements and planning for the future of historic preservation in New York State. Join us in the Capital Region on May 5-7 as we mark the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act.

For over 50 years, New Yorkers have fought to preserve their historic buildings. The stories of these struggles, the lessons and losses, the strategies and innovations, the tactics and triumphs, are the intellectual capital of the preservation movement, with the potential to instruct and inspire future generations of activists.

Denise Brown-Puryear and Deborah Young, cofounders of the Crown Heights North Association, pictured during their oral history interview. Photo by Anthony Bellov.

Denise Brown-Puryear and Deborah Young, cofounders of the Crown Heights North Association, pictured during their oral history interview. Photo by Anthony Bellov.

So often in the preservation movement, the perseverance and leadership of a few key people inspires the hard work and dedication of a whole community. Such actions are often left out of the headlines and unheralded regardless of how they have shaped the physical landscape of neighborhoods around us. Much of the events that compose preservation history are rooted in the memories of individuals rather than published written records.

The New York Preservation Archive Project (NYPAP) has worked since 1998 to reverse this tide of loss through oral histories that capture these stories in order to craft a nuanced portrait of the field and a better understanding of the past 50 years of preservation.

An archive of oral history records weaves together the learning experiences, advice, and personal motivations of preservationists with their memories of historic sites about what made them unique, beautiful, and meaningful that may not have been documented in any other way. This versatile primary source material can be utilized for myriad purposes from new preservationists seeking wisdom, to historians researching specific sites, to journalists uncovering important perspectives, to policy advisers consulting community concerns.

In this session, NYPAP will discuss how to plan, fund, capture, and share these narratives, with a focus on two new initiatives: one focusing on sites significant to minority communities, and one on preservation’s evolving legal framework.

Saving Preservation Stories: Diversity & The Outer Boroughs
The central focus of this project was to seek out preservation stories that had previously been underrepresented in New York City. Oral history interviews were conducted with leading members of historic preservation actions, who worked to save sites that were significant to minority populations, as well as sites in the four boroughs beyond Manhattan. Many of these sites’ preservation campaigns often go back decades.

Six generations of women in Yvonne Taylor's family have lived in the Coleman-Gray House, the oldest standing house in Sandy Ground, Staten Island. Photo by Leyla Vural. Yvonne is a founding member of the Sandy Ground Historical Society, the nation's longest continuously occupied African American settlement, dating back to 1828.

Six generations of women in Yvonne Taylor’s family have lived in the Coleman-Gray House, the oldest standing house in Sandy Ground, Staten Island. Yvonne is a founding member of the Sandy Ground Historical Society, the nation’s longest continuously occupied African American settlement, dating back to 1828. Photo by Leyla Vural.

“Documenting the unique challenges and innovative solutions of such campaigns is a valuable resource for future preservationists, but also brings to light many unsung heroes of the movement,” said Liz Strong, NYPAP oral history coordinator.

Through the Legal Lens: Interviews with Lawyers Who Shaped NYC’s Landmarks Law
With this project, NYPAP set out to capture the memories of influential legal figures in the evolution of New York City’s Landmarks Law. The New York City Landmarks Law was enacted in 1965 to protect historic sites and neighborhoods from decisions to destroy or fundamentally alter their character. The law also established the creation of a permanent Landmarks Preservation Commission, authorized to designate a building as a landmark, or an area as a historic district.

The Supreme Court Case: Penn Central Transportation co. v. The City of New York in 1978 upheld the Landmark designation of Grand Central Terminal and was a turning point in preservation history. Grand Central Terminal today, in a view from across 42nd Street. Photo by Tony Cenicola, The New York Times.

The Supreme Court Case: Penn Central Transportation Co. v. The City of New York in 1978 upheld the Landmark designation of Grand Central Terminal and was a turning point in preservation history. Grand Central Terminal today, in a view from across 42nd Street. Photo by Tony Cenicola, The New York Times.

“Fifty years later, numerous challenges to landmark legislation have been overcome thanks, in part, to the work of the individuals interviewed in this project,” said Strong. “As lawyers, they defended the administration of the law, argued decisive preservation-related court cases, and worked to secure the legal power that protects the city’s architecture.”

Session Speakers:

Matthew Coody, Executive Director, New York Preservation Archive Project
Matthew Coody is a co-founder of Preservation Greenpoint, a not-for-profit organization that works to protect the historic architecture and character of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He has devoted time working with many New York City preservation organizations, architecture firms, and city agencies, including the Landmarks Preservation Commission and FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. He is vice president of Preservation Alumni and is on the Board of Advisers for the Historic Districts Council. Coody is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and holds a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University.

Liz Strong, Oral History Coordinator, New York Preservation Archive Project
Liz Strong is an experienced oral historian who is passionate about helping people and organizations share and document important stories. She has worked for the Columbia Center for Oral History Research, the Washington State Department of Commerce, and others. Strong earned a BA in Narrative Arts from Oberlin College in 2009, and recently completed her Master of Arts in Oral History at Columbia University. As an oral history consultant, Strong is managing the New York Preservation Archive Project’s current initiatives. “Through the Legal Lens: Interviews with Lawyers Who Shaped NYC’s Landmarks Law” and “Saving Preservation Stories: Diversity and the Outer Boroughs.”

 >>If you can’t miss this session, click here to register now!

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

 

Preservation50: NYS

The 2016 Statewide Preservation Conference will take place May 5-7 in Albany and Troy. We’re moving east to the Capital Region to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

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This year’s Conference theme is Preservation50: NYS. Preservation50 is a nationwide effort to celebrate, learn from, and leverage the NHPA’s first five decades to assure historic preservation’s vibrant future in America. The 2016 Statewide Preservation Conference will be all about celebrating our past achievements and planning for the future of historic preservation in New York State.

The Conference is the only event of its kind in the state – a multi-day gathering for anyone involved in preservation and community revitalization. It’s an opportunity to learn, network, become inspired and have fun.

The Conference is for grassroots preservationists in villages, rural towns, and cities throughout New York; professionals working in the field or allied fields (architects, planners, landscape architects, developers and more); elected officials and municipal board members; city neighborhood leaders/activists; and students in preservation and allied fields.

The 2016 NY Statewide Preservation Conference is presented by The Landmark Society of Western New York, in collaboration with Historic Albany Foundation, the Preservation League of New York State, and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Register online at: http://landmarksociety.org/conference/

Call for session proposals

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The 2016 Statewide Preservation Conference will take place May 5-7th in Albany and Troy and will mark the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). This conference will be presented by The Landmark Society of Western New York, Historic Albany Foundation, The Preservation League of New York State and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The conference theme for 2016 is Preservation50: NYS. Preservation50 is a nationwide effort to celebrate, learn from, and leverage the NHPA’s first five decades to assure historic preservation’s vibrant future in America. The 2016 Statewide Preservation Conference will focus on celebrating past achievements and planning for the future of historic preservation in New York State.

In order to make this conference a success, we need your preservation projects, ideas and initiatives. Share your success stories, challenges, and new ideas with preservationists and community advocates from across the state. Submit your session proposal by Friday, November 13th (at 11:59 PM) in order to be considered. Proposals on a wide variety of topics are welcome and encouraged.

>>Click here to see more detailed information and submit a conference proposal.

If you have any questions about this proposal form or would like to discuss your ideas, please contact Caitlin.

2015 #NYPresConf sells out!

By all accounts, the 2015 New York Statewide Preservation Conference was a roaring success! For the first time ever we had a sellout crowd, with over 300 preservationists from across the state. Our host city of Geneva did not disappoint; there was amazing architecture, tasty local restaurants and bars, and friendly faces everywhere we turned. Our host sites–the Smith Opera House and the First United Methodist Church–were particularly welcoming and accommodating.

Below are just a few of the highlights:

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We started things off right with some good food and good beer on our Geneva Pub Crawl Thursday night after the film. Here are a few of us enjoying our pub crawl tshirts at Red Dove Tavern. (You didn’t think you could escape this post without at least one selfie, did you?)

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We also had an amazing lineup of speakers with sessions including topics such as community-based art initiatives like Wall\Therapy in Rochester and the SALT District in Syracuse; historic home repair, religious building repair, fundraising for historic sites; the Power of Preserved Public Spaces (presented by Slow Road and two local Rochester-based businesses, Staach and Joe Bean Coffee); and addressing vacant buildings from our friends at PlaceEconomics and Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson.

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Performances from One Dance Co. and PUSH Physical Theatre punctuated the educational sessions on Thursday and Friday and provided a much-needed opportunity for our brains to recharge after absorbing so much information!

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The weather even cooperated (for the most part). The sun came out on Friday evening just as attendees headed to the Smith to hear from Keynote Speaker, Cynthia Nikitin of the Project for Public Spaces. And–perhaps the highlight of the week–attendees enjoyed a warm and magnificent evening at Sophie Paillard Elkin’s historic barn complex just a few miles outside of downtown Geneva. The space, food, music, local wine and juice (generously donated by Fox Run Vineyards, Anthony Road Wine Company, Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, Villa Bellangelo, Zugibe Vineyards, Billsboro Winery, and Red Jacket Orchards) and the company all made it a wondrous evening.

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Photo courtesy Matt DeTurck

Photo courtesy Matt DeTurck

Finally, we closed the Conference on Saturday with a Social Media Power Session and one-on-one consultations from social media and digital marketing expert, Danielle Hueston of Deelightful Studios; a panel-led problem-solving session that provided a lot of great ideas for challenges that preservationists and communities across the region are facing; and field sessions throughout Geneva that showcased amazing examples of adaptive reuse and the impressive strides made in community and neighborhood revitalization (we encourage you to check out the work of the Geneva Neighborhood Resource Center for inspiration).

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Photo courtesy Matt DeTurck

On behalf of our Conference partners (the Preservation League of New York State, Preservation Buffalo Niagara, AIA Rochester, and the NY State Historic Preservation Office), we want to extend a sincere thank you to all of our Conference attendees, speakers, sponsors, host sites, and the city of Geneva. It was truly a group effort and could not have been done without every single one of you.

Now–put all that inspiration and information to work in your community and mark your calendars for the 2016 New York Statewide Preservation Conference, May 5-7th in Albany and Troy.

2016Conf

 

 

Session Profile: Out of the Gallery and Onto the Streets

The 2015 New York Statewide Preservation Conference theme is The Art of Preservation: Painting Your Community’s Future. Join us at our conference headquarters, the restored Smith Opera House in the Finger Lakes city of Geneva as we explore the role that the arts can play in helping us revitalize buildings and communities. We’ll also explore historic preservation as an art form unto itself–each building, each landscape, each community that we seek to revive requires a unique approach involving partnerships, funding sources and creative problem-solving.

This session fits perfectly with our theme, combining the arts, historic preservation, community revitalization, and adaptive reuse into one fabulous story. Each of the speakers in this exciting session will provide insight into creative community placemaking and restoring communities using art, technology and hard work.

Speaker Profiles:

ErichSLehman_Web

Image courtesy Jonathan Rutherford

Erich S. Lehman is co-curator and lead organizer for the WALL\THERAPY mural project, based in Rochester, NY. He is also the owner and curator of 1975 Gallery and a member of the Sweet Meat Co. art collective. At his core, Erich is an artist/designer/tech geek/workaholic who simply finds the world far too interesting to sit still for long.

 

 

 

Image courtesy Mark Deff

Image courtesy Mark Deff

Image courtesy Mark Deff

Image courtesy Mark Deff

Maarten Jacobs, MSW, is the Director of the Near Westside Initiative (NWSI), a nonprofit organization working to combine the power of art, technology, and innovation with neighborhood values and culture to revitalize Syracuse’s Near Westside. In that role over the past four years, Maarten has worked diligently to ensure that the neighborhood residents of the Near Westside are actively engaged in the revitalization taking place in their neighborhood and ensuring that the community’s best interests are always represented. Similarly, with a personal passion for the arts, Maarten has pushed the Near Westside Initiative to be a truly place-based initiative with a focus on implementing creative placemaking as a fundamental strategy for economic and community development.

In addition to his work with the Near Westside Initiative, he teaches Community Economic Development at the Syracuse University School of Social Work. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology and a Master’s degree in Social Work with a concentration in Community Development and Social Action from the University of Maryland.

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Image courtesy of Near Westside Initiative

Spectral_Carnival

Courtesy of The Yards

Erika Ruegemer, a native of Minnesota, is co-founder and director of One Dance Company New York. She began her dance training at age five with Dyan Ferrell, a former Rockette, and son Michael Matthew Ferrell, choreographer of The Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Erika received her BA in dance from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. She has danced with ARENADances (Minneapolis, MN), PUSH Physical Theatre (Rochester, NY), FuturPointe Dance (Rochester, NY) and gloATL (Atlanta, GA). Erika actively contributes to Flower City Ballet, THE YARDS collaborative art space, WALL/THERAPY, The Possibility Project, and Hochstein School of Music and Dance. She is inspired to awaken Rochester, New York one community at time.

Sarah C. Rutherford is a painter, muralist, Sweet Meat Co member and illustrator. She is also co-founder of THE YARDS Collaborative Art Space and a WALL\THERAPY Team member. Follow Sarah on Instagram and Twitter at @msshaftway.

>>Click here to return to the main Conference page to purchase your tickets!

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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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Conference Film and Geneva Pub Crawl

The 2015 New York Statewide Preservation Conference theme is The Art of Preservation: Painting Your Community’s Future. Join us at our conference headquarters, the restored Smith Opera House in the Finger Lakes city of Geneva as we explore the role that the arts can play in helping us revitalize buildings and communities. We’ll also explore historic preservation as an art form unto itself–each building, each landscape, each community that we seek to revive requires a unique approach involving partnerships, funding sources and creative problem-solving.

This year’s Conference film fits perfectly with our theme, combining the arts, downtown revitalization, and adaptive reuse into one fabulous story.

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Photo courtesy Nicholas Whitman

On Thursday April 16th at 6:30 p.m. we are thrilled to present a screening of
Downside UP: How art can change the spirit of a place 
at the Smith Opera House in Geneva, NY for the film selection at the 2015 New York Statewide Preservation Conference.

Immediately following the film, a panel will answer questions and discuss the role that the arts and large institutions can play in revitalizing communities. Panelists will include:

  • Wayne Goodman, Landmark Society Executive Director
  • Julian Adams, Director, Community Preservation Services Bureau, NY State Historic Preservation Office
  • Joni Monroe, Community Design Center of Rochester Executive Director
  • Bleu Cease, Rochester Contemporary Art Center Executive Director
  • Erich Lehman, WALL\THERAPY, 1975 Gallery
  • Nancy Fitzpatrick, The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA

After the film and panel discussion join us on a Geneva Pub Crawl. We will depart from the Smith Opera House immediately following the film and panel discussion. Free t-shirts to the first 25 registrants! And lots of great local watering holes!

A ticket for the film is included with your Conference registration, or tickets can be purchased separately. Tickets for the general public will also be available at the door for $10. >>Click here to return to the main Conference page to purchase your tickets!

Film and Panel Discussion Sponsored by Chaintreuil | Jensen | Stark Architects, LLP

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Geneva Pub Crawl Sponsored by Clark Patterson Lee Design Professionals.

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

facebook-70  twitter-70

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