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!

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Grants to Fund Improvement Initiatives For Historic Buildings and Resources

Grants earmarked for Five to Revive site Former Trinity Episcopal Church and four other sites

A grant from The Landmark Society of Western New York will help to advance the revitalization of the Former Trinity Episcopal Church in Seneca Falls, one of the 2014 Five to Revive historic sites determined by The Landmark Society to be in need of targeted revitalization. The Preservation Grant Fund provides funds for preliminary design and planning studies to help make positive improvements to at-risk buildings. Awards have also been earmarked for four other sites. The complete list of grants includes:

 A $3,200 grant to the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Foundation on behalf of Seneca Falls Historic Preservation Association for conditions assessment & architectural drawings of the Former Trinity Episcopal Church, 10-14 Bayard St, Seneca Falls.

Image courtesy of Richard Margolis

Image courtesy of Richard Margolis

 A $2000 grant for a condition report for the Macedon Academy, 1185 Macedon Center Road, Macedon, NY – home of the Macedon Historical Society and Museum

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

 A $2000 grant to assist in funding a condition report on the roof of the Grace United Methodist Church, 121 Driving Park Avenue in Rochester.

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

 A $2000 grant for condition report of the Salem United Church of Christ, 60 Bittner St. in Rochester.

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

 An $1800 grant for condition report of the Wiley Schoolhouse, 893 Wiley Rd., Savannah, NY

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

The Landmark Society’s grant committee considers applications quarterly or as funding is available. The program’s goal is to help kickstart preservation projects that can have a positive impact on their surrounding communities. “Our efforts are focused on sustaining and enhancing the cultural and economic vitality of Western New York by bringing new life to historic buildings and resources and ensuring they are present and contributing for generations to come,” said Caitlin Meives, Landmark Society Preservation Planner.

Initial funding for the Preservation Grant Fund was made possible by a generous bequest from Elizabeth (Libby) Stewart. Stewart was a longtime Landmark Society staff member who was dedicated to the revitalization of neighborhoods and historic structures. Generous donations to The Landmark Society provide ongoing funding. This last round of funding was the most competitive to date, according to Meives, more than $23,000 in funds were requested.

Historic Landscape Award: Rochester Public Market

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.

Rochester Public Market
280 North Union Street, city of Rochester

Image courtesy of Renaissance Hotels

Image courtesy of Renaissance Hotels

Located on this site since 1905, this City-owned market continues to play a vital role in both the Marketview Heights neighborhood and the greater Rochester community, at large. One of the most  popular and vital gathering places for retail shopping, the market campus and buildings have undergone a major rehabilitation over the past decade, an on-going project coordinated by the City of Rochester. While maintaining the historic buildings, structures and brick paving, there has been building rehabilitation, expanded retail space and extensive site improvements. This revitalization has extended out into the surrounding neighborhood, as well, creating a destination that is used and appreciated by thousands of local residents throughout the year.

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

stantec
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.

Special Citation: St. Januarius Catholic Church

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.

St. Januarius Catholic Church
Main St., village of Naples, Ontario County

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

We honor the parish of Our Lady of the Lakes for the care of St. Januarius Catholic Church in the village of Naples. Established in 1876 by local residents of mostly German heritage, this congregation commissioned Rochester architect James Johnson to create their present house of worship in 1965-’66.

One of Johnson’s earliest projects to use cast concrete panels fabricated on-site, the church features bold design and innovative construction. The signature windows are formed by dozens of round openings in the concrete panels. Each opening is set with a roundel of brightly colored glass, through which light streams into the main sanctuary to dramatic effect during daylight hours.

Image courtesy of the landmark society

Image courtesy of the landmark society

A sensitive rehabilitation of the church was completed in 2011 by LaBella Associates, which included a newly designed altar, improved accessibility and energy conservation features. One of the most photographed churches in the region, this remarkable building is an important example of Mid-Century Modern design in western New York.

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

 

Historic Home Award: 625 Mt. Hope Avenue

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 Home Award is given to owners of private residences for their continued care of and commitment to the preservation of an architecturally significant house over a minimum of seven years.

625 Mt. Hope Avenue
Rochester, New York
Owners: Rosemary Janofsky

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Image courtesy of the Landmark Society

Located in the city’s Mt. Hope/Highland Historic District, this handsome, 19th-century house was originally built in 1839 by James Hawks and subsequently purchased by horticultural pioneer George Ellwanger in 1867. It was enlarged at that time by architect Andrew J. Warner and again in the early 20th century by his son, J. Foster Warner. The Ellwanger family continued here until 1982, when George’s granddaughter, Helen, the founder of The Landmark Society of Western New York, bequeathed the property to that organization. The house was then rehabilitated as a residence and country inn.

After a long period of vacancy, the property was purchased by Ms. Janofsky in 2006. An extensive and challenging rehabilitation of the house and carriage barn was completed.  As part of this exceptional project, new roofs were installed, structural elements were repaired, a new and expanded front porch was constructed, and paint colors were selected to enhance the picturesque design of the historic buildings. Today, the house serves as both a private residence and the Ellwanger Estate bed-and-breakfast inn.

 

Barber Conable Award: The Academy Building

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 Barber Conable Award recognizes a large-scale rehabilitation of an historic building in our region completed within the past two years. This includes buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places and projects utilizing the Federal Investment Tax Credit Program.

The Academy Building:
13 South Fitzhugh Street, City of Rochester

The Academy Building                                                                           Photo by Richard Margolis

 

This year’s recipient of our major preservation award is the Academy Building. Erected in 1873 as the city’s first public high school, this remarkable High Victorian Gothic building was designed by renowned Rochester architect Andrew Jackson Warner and is unique in the region. Its sophisticated features, polychrome building materials, and picturesque design are hallmarks of this distinctive style. Long the headquarters of the Rochester Board of Education and later rehabilitated into commercial offices in the late 1970s, this signature building has been vacant and seeking a new owner in recent years.

The challenging project returned the building to a new use as 21 loft-style apartments and retail space. Listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, the building was rehabilitated using the Federal Investment Tax Credit program and design review by the NYS Office of Historic Preservation. This $7,000,000 project was completed by owner and developer George Traikos, with project architect Blake Held and consulting services by Bero Architecture, PLLC.

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)!

Inside Downtown Tour 2014

View from the Top!
East Avenue and East Main Street
Proudly sponsored by Winn Development

The Inside Downtown Tour highlights urban environments where folks are creating exciting spaces to live and work. We visit re-purposed spaces, renovated homes, lovingly preserved places and newly built sites that are designed with sensitivity to the overall built environment. Basically, we get you “in” on the latest urban living trends.

This year’s tour sites radiate off of East Avenue and East Main Street.The Inside Downtown Tour will give you the “View from the Top” as penthouses and rooftops are open for the 2014 ticket holders. It’s all part of the effort to showcase urban living and working in re-purposed buildings – and to have a great time doing so!

Why are we calling it “View from the Top?” There are an extraordinary number of penthouses opening for us, plus the view from the top of One East Avenue is unequaled at any other site. You’ll have all of Rochester (and a good portion of Monroe County) at your feet.

UPDATE: Online ticket sales have closed. Purchased tickets will be available for pickup at Tour Headquarters (RoCo, 137 East Ave.) during Tour hours only. If we are not sold out, day-of tickets will also be available for purchase ($25 each) during Tour hours.

Click here for the #insidedowntown tour page