Best of 2017: 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 2017 with our Top 13 (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 80th Anniversary Campaign.

Here’s to many more successes in 2018!

1.The Landmark Society celebrates 80 years

Founded July 1937, The Landmark Society has been celebrating its 80th Anniversary year with a number of special events, beginning with our first-ever Gala attended by over two hundred in September, and continuing through the coming year with a night of performing arts in February, an al fresco dinner at our downtown St. Joseph’s Park in July, an art exhibition in September, and travel tours to Savannah, Georgia and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – watch for more updates. We also launched our 80th Anniversary Capital Campaign to provide the grounding for our continued work on behalf of preservation across our region in the many years we have ahead; please consider joining us in in this work with a gift to the campaign.

2. Rochester’s only cobblestone seeing new life

Vacant for over a decade and listed on our 2015 Five to Revive list, the c. 1835 Lockwood-Alhart House on Culver Rd. – the city of Rochester’s only surviving cobblestone – is finally seeing new life: ground was broken for a micro-park on the property in August with funding from NeighborWorks Rochester, and the Triangle Neighborhood held a “Cobbleween” event for neighborhood families on the premises on Halloween night. Moreover, developer interest in the structure, and our funding of studies for the property through our Preservation Grant Fund, means there might be more good news on this unique community resource soon!

3. Landmark Society recognized by the Rochester Community Design Center

The Landmark Society was honored to receive honorable mention for the Joni Monroe Award at the Rochester Community Design Center’s 2017 Reshaping Rochester Awards ceremony in November “for its longstanding commitment to preservation in the community”. We admire the tireless work RCDC and its founding Executive Director Joni Monroe have done to ensure that the Greater Rochester region’s people and communities have a built environment befitting their potential and aspirations, so it is humbling to receive this recognition.

4. South Wedge’s Calvary – St. Andrew’s Church granted City Landmark status and repurposed as event / art space

When the Calvary – St. Andrews congregation dissolved earlier this year, the future of the unique late 19th-century church building they left behind, and the vitality of the surrounding residential South Wedge neighborhood, was in question, but thanks to the enterprising work of the Friends of Calvary – St. Andrews organization, the sublime property was protected as a City Landmark by the Rochester Preservation Board in the fall, and will continue to be enjoyed by the community as it is repurposed as an event and performing arts space.

5.Colgate Rochester campus receive City Landmark designation

The Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School campus (including its historic buildings and designed landscape) became an official designated City of Rochester Landmark in September. This means that as the property transitions to new owners, neighbors and the larger Rochester community can be assured that any new development will be sensitively incorporated into the historic campus, with review by the City’s Preservation Board. The features that give the campus its economic value will be preserved so that it can continue to be a part of the community long into the future.

The Landmark Society, along with a coalition of organizations that included Highland Park Neighborhood Association and NBN6, worked with the owners at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, to amend the landmark application and determine appropriate boundaries.

6. Water Flows, and People Follow, in Manhattan Square Park

Flowing water is a recurring theme and major attraction in prominent landscape architect Laurence Halprin’s work – including in his FDR Memorial in Washington and his Freeway Park in Seattle – but the fountain he designed for Rochester’s Manhattan Square (now renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Park) was dry for several decades…until the City of Rochester turned the water back on this summer after significant renovations! Cascading water has brought life and attracted people back to what had been a little-used and oft-maligned corner of the downtown landscape, pushing it closer to being the community focal point Halprin had hoped and intended it to be. Click here to read more. 

7. YUPs host Rust Belt Takeover

In July, The Landmark Society’s Young Urban Preservationists hosted a Rochester meetup of the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists. Nearly 70 preservationists came from Rust Belt cities (and beyond) to explore the Flower City’s history, preservation successes, and challenges. Visitors toured Mt. Hope Cemetery, High Falls, Wall\Therapy murals, the Public Market, and sampled local fare from adaptive reuse projects like Radio Social, the Swillburger/Playhouse, and of course, Nick Tahou’s.

8. CAMP takes ownership of Civil War Memorial building

The preservation and reuse of the Cattaraugus County Memorial & Historical Building, one of our 2015 Five to Revive, took a big leap forward this month when local preservation advocates from Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (CAMP) took ownership of the building from the County. For the past three years, the County had had plans to demolish the building. CAMPers still have a long way to go to develop plans and raise funds to rehab the building but we’re incredibly proud of their efforts so far and we’ll be working with them to secure this important building’s future.

9. Landmark Society hosts summer youth program

The Landmark Society was the home for a youth employment program this past summer. Put a Face to the Place: Afro Rochester was a research based project to study local history through the lens of the built environment and biography, and produce a video documentary. It was funded by the Summer Youth Employment Program at RochesterWorks, Inc who partnered with Landmark Society and Kuumba Consultants. The program offers youth a summer job, but also provides training in employment and life skills, to further their future success.

The final project was a video documentary of faces and places chosen reflecting local Afro Rochester: Put a Face to the Place: Afro Rochester a video to teach about the remarkable people and place of our city. Click here to see the video and meet the youth.

10. Conference returns to Rochester

2017 saw yet another year of record-breaking attendance at the NY Statewide Preservation Conference with nearly 370 attendees from around the state. The Conference took place on E Main St. in downtown Rochester, showcasing the ongoing successes in the heart of downtown. We were honored to welcome Amy Nicole Swift, principal and owner of Building Hugger in Detroit, to Rochester as our Keynote Speaker. Amy spoke about the importance of expanding training and employment opportunities for women and young people in the traditional trades.

After a full day of conversation and learning at a wide range of breakout sessions and networking with fellow colleagues and community advocates, attendees were able to wind down at a special Preservation Partners Party at the Genesee Country Village and Museum. 

11. Main St. facade revealed

After decades of being covered up by a two-story billboard, the historic facade of the building at the corner of Main and Clinton Streets in downtown Rochester was finally unveiled this fall! Property owners are in the process of planning a major rehab for this building–just one more step forward in the revitalization of this 2015 block of Five to Revive buildings!

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12. Tavern Takeover at Stone-Tolan

The YUPs and Emerging Rochester Architects (ERA) hosted the first ever Tavern Takeover at the Landmark Society’s Stone-Tolan House Historic Site. Sponsored by architecture firm, Clark Patterson Lee, the event featured a campfire with s’mores, outdoor snacks, free-roaming of the grounds and, most importantly, beer from Swiftwater Brewing in the historic tavern! We had over 80 attendees (of all ages) join us to stroll the grounds and experience the Stone-Tolan House as 19th century frontier travelers would have.

13. Federal historic tax credits saved!

After much advocacy, the Tax Reform Bill retained the federal historic tax credit program, which has made possible many of the rehabs that are catalyzing positive economic and civic change in the western New York, particularly in downtown Rochester, and across the Rust Belt.

Released Friday, December 15, this version retained the Senate’s modification of the HTC, which mandates that users must take the credit over five years, instead of in the first year the building is placed in service. Although this will diminish the credit’s value, it’s a big win for preservation, as the House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the credit completely.

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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 80th Anniversary Campaign.

 

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.

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.

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NY Statewide Preservation Conference

The New York Statewide Preservation Conference is set for April 16-18, 2015 in the lakeside city of Geneva. This year’s theme, The Art of Preservation: Painting Your Community’s Future, is partially inspired by the Conference headquarters—the restored Smith Opera House. But this year’s theme goes beyond the arts—historic preservation is 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. And, of course, the buildings, structures and landscapes that we seek to preserve are all works of art in and of themselves.

>>Visit the Conference website for complete details.

NY Statewide Preservation Conference

The New York Statewide Preservation Conference is set for April 16-18, 2015 in the lakeside city of Geneva. This year’s theme, The Art of Preservation: Painting Your Community’s Future, is partially inspired by the Conference headquarters—the restored Smith Opera House. But this year’s theme goes beyond the arts—historic preservation is 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. And, of course, the buildings, structures and landscapes that we seek to preserve are all works of art in and of themselves.

The Conference kicks off on Thursday, April 16th with Geneva Orientation Walking Tours, an evening film screening and panel discussion, and a pub crawl. >>Visit the Conference website for complete details.

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:

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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

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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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Session Profile: Main Street Revival

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.

Image courtesy of Katie Comeau

Image courtesy of Katie Comeau

Upstate New York boasts many small communities whose roots go deep into our state’s history. In these communities, Main Streets are the economic and cultural centers for and have been the center of civic life for generations. This sessions provides information on how two successful upstate communities spared their historic Main Streets from the wrecking ball through proactive efforts from the community, government officials, developers and consultants. Learn from the speakers how they navigated the preservation planning process from survey through rehab tax credit applications, and how both communities are on the cusp of revitalization through preservation.

Community Profile:

1.) Village of Hamburg

Hamburg is a quaint suburban village ten miles south of Buffalo, NY. Revitalization efforts  in the village date back to the 1990s, which included a village-wide reconnaissance-level historic resource survey and Main Street-focused intensive level survey that Bero Architecture conducted in 2002. In addition, revitalization work conducted by the NYS DOT was performed including four roundabouts, easing traffic congestion in the village and a streetscape and facade improvement program. These initiatives became catalysts for subsequent projects and developments along Main Street.

Image courtesy of Katie Comeau

Image courtesy of Katie Comeau

By 2012 many of the buildings had been spruced up but the Kronenberg building, the longtime anchor department store, had been vacant for several decades. A typical two-story commercial space, the village began revitalization efforts including rehabilitation, National Register nomination for the Main Street district and assistance with grant applications. Since the village laid the groundwork a developer expressed interest and now the building is back on the tax rolls, occupied and looks great!

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Images courtesy of Katie Comeau, Bero Architecture, PLLC

2.) City of Gloversville

Like many small cities in upstate New York, Gloversville’s downtown served as the hub for cultural, commercial, and civic life for generations. This beautiful, historic area survived urban renewal efforts in the 1960s and big box development in more recent years and is on the cusp of a rich revitalization. This session will look at the past, present, and future of Gloversville’s downtown.

Session Speakers:

Katie Eggers Comeau, Bero Architecture PLLC
Katie Eggers Comeau is the architectural historian at Bero Architecture PLLC, where her preservation planning projects include historic resource surveys, National Register nominations, tax credit applications, and other research and documentation projects. She speaks to many groups on topics including Rochester’s Olmsted park system, 20th century architecture, and preservation planning.

Damon Ayer, Chair, Village of Hamburg Preservation Commission and Owner Mason’s Grille 52
As chairman of the Village of Hamburg Historic Preservation Commission, Damon Ayer has spearheaded the commission’s recent efforts to revitalize Hamburg’s Main Street. He is also owner of a Main Street business, Mason’s Grille 52.

Gregory Young, Supervisor, City of Gloversville
A lifelong resident of the City of Gloversville, Gregory is in his first term on the Fulton County Board of Supervisors. Young also teaches at the College of Saint Rose in Albany. He holds volunteer and leadership positions in a variety of causes and community organizations, including membership in Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council. Young holds bachelors (summa cum laude) and masters degrees from the College of Saint Rose in history and political science and is currently completing a PhD from the University at Buffalo.

>>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.

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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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