Call for Session Proposals: 2015 Preservation Conference

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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 our 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.

We want to hear how you and your community have adopted the art of preservation. Session proposals on a wide variety of preservation and community revitalization related topics are welcome, including but not limited to: maintaining historic buildings; historic landscapes; economic development; Main Street revitalization; heritage tourism; community activism; planning; building reuse case studies, etc. All proposals are due by Friday, January 16th at 11:59 PM.

>>Click here to complete the submission form.

 

 

ROC the Day on 12.02.14

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We need YOU to help ROC the Day on 12.02.14!

On December 2nd, our community will come together to ROC the Day, and we at The Landmark Society of Western New York hope to make the day a huge success–for our organization and for the communities we serve. ROC the Day is a 24-hour giving opportunity to support all eligible not-for-profits in the nine-county Greater Rochester area. Community members are encouraged to visit ROCtheDay.org, a secure online giving platform, to contribute to any participating not-for-profit organization. All money given during ROC the Day stays local. If you Choose to support The Landmark Society on ROC the Day, your contribution will support the important work we do in communities large and small, rural and urban, to support preservation and community revitalization.

This year, we are directing all funds raised during this special day of giving to our Preservation Grant Fund program. Begun in 2012, this crucial program provides grants to municipalities, not-for-profits, community organizations, and potential developers to help get rehab projects off the ground. To date, the Preservation Grant has provided over $30,000 in funding to some of our region’s most important and at-risk historic buildings. (Click here and here to see some of our past grant recipients). In a very direct and immediate way, this program helps save buildings and revitalize communities. We ask you to help support this program.

After you’ve made your contribution, please help spread the word! Share the news with your friends, family and co-workers. Share the news on social media using #ROCtheDay.

And, as always, we THANK YOU for your commitment to The Landmark Society and to the communities and people of western New York.

>>Click here to ROC the Day with The Landmark Society<<
www.roctheday.org/TheLandmarkSociety

 

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.

Destination Main Street

Online registration has closed. Contact Carolyn Haygood at 546-7029 x11 to inquire if spots are available.

A high-impact breakfast presentation for Rochester’s business community, local officials, developers and citizens who believe in the future of their commercial corridors and the power of locally owned, small businesses.

Jon Schallert is an internationally-recognized speaker and business expert specializing in teaching businesses and communities how to turn themselves into Consumer Destinations. Schallert speaks to thousands annually on his proprietary 14-step “Destination Business” process, which he developed over the course of nearly 30 years of working with independent business owners.

Schedule

Check-in: 7:30-8:00am
Breakfast: 8:00-8:30
Presentation: 8:30-9:30
Wrap-up & networking: 9:30-10:00

Tickets

Online registration has closed. Contact Carolyn Haygood at 546-7029 x11 to inquire if spots are available.

$35/each
Purchase your tickets below or by calling 585.546.7029 x11
Is your business interested in sponsoring a table? Contact Larry Francer (585.546.7029 x14)

This event is held in partnership with Rochester Downtown Development Corp. and the Community Design Center of Rochester.

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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

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

 

Tick Tock Tick Tock… so says the Inside Downtown Tour Clock!

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It’s too late to get Inside Downtown Tour tickets mailed to you.   Fortunately it’s NOT too late to get advance tickets – but time is running out!  Can’t mail them, but we will just hold them for you at the tour headquarters, Rochester Contemporary Art Center at 137 East Avenue. Make it your first tour stop on Friday night between 5 pm and 8:30 or Saturday between 10:30 am and 4 pm.  You can purchase those money-saving beauties by clicking here, coming to our office between 9 am and 4 pm Monday through Thursday at 133 South Fitzhugh Street in Corn Hill, or going to Parkleigh at 215 Park Avenue.

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What about tickets the days of the tour?  Time may be running out for those tickets as well!  Last year’s tour sold out on the second tour day and, so far, the tickets are flying out the door faster than in 2013.  We DO plan to have tickets for sale at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center, and we will do our best to post information prominently on our webpage, if we completely sell out.  We will certainly have tickets available Friday night, and chances are a handful left on Saturday.

Brunch

But why tempt fate?  Order in advance, and relax over that pre-tour Friday cocktail or Saturday morning brunch knowing you’re about to embark on an amazing tour.

We also have a last minute, under the wire update on the tour.  Two additional apartments have been added – one of the tenants had been traveling and was not able to commit until returning to Rochester.  The tenant is an artist, and his apartment is an incredible treat – a penthouse filled with original works.  Don’t miss it!

>>Follow this link to get your tickets in advance!

Posted by Cindy Boyer, Director of Public Programs

Tour details: East Ave & E. Main St. | Friday September 12  5:30 to 8:30 pm |Saturday, September 13 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Advance tickets are $22. Landmark members may purchase $18 advance tickets from Landmark Society only, online or by phone at (585)546-7029 x11.  If tickets are available the days of the tour they will be $25 for all, sold at Tour HQ, Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo).

After you purchase your tickets, invite your friends and family to attend the tour too-use the hashtag #insidedowntown on social media!

>>Follow this link to get your tickets in advance!

Inside Downtown Tour – Unique Experiences?

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Is the word “unique” overused? Every restaurant, every attraction, every app loves to promote itself as “unique.”

I’d like to put that to the test, and see if it is an appropriate word to use in describing the Inside Downtown Tour, coming up on Friday September 12 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm and Saturday September 13 from 11 am to 4 pm. You might think that a tour that gets you inside private apartments and other fabulous spaces in downtown Rochester would easily qualify for the “U-word.”  But if that is not enough, here are some of the experiences in addition to the incredible architecture waiting for ticket holders on the tour days.

Sipping beneath gloves, combs, scarves, pens, and jewelry dripping from the ceiling.  Our tour headquarters will be the Rochester Contemporary Art Center.  One of the current exhibitions in “State of the City 2014” features lost (and found) objects displayed above your head. Thanks to sponsor Underberg and Kessler, on Saturday the 13th you can enjoy light beverages and snacks while pondering the connections between the objects.

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Pressing the PH button.  When is the last time you got to press that button on an elevator panel?  On tour days, you won’t need a special pass or keyfob to go to the top – just a tour ticket.

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270 degree view, indoors and out. The outdoor balcony wraps around 3 sides, 11 stories in the air.  For those with acrophobia, you can enjoy the view from inside, gazing through the glass curtain walls of a mid-century marvel.

A view that will make you WANT to sit in the dentist chair. Dr Michael Lewis is kindly opening his office to the tour goers. No worries, an appointment is required if you want to have any of those pointy things stuck in your mouth.

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The best weather watching windows.  Something about seeing the drama of weather played out against the downtown skyline makes you glad for the large windows in this apartment.

The only private downtown pool and firepit.  Okay, you won’t be swimming on this September tour, but you will get to admire this great setting, seldom seen by anyone but the residents.

who would suspect there is a pool behind these walls?

who would suspect there is a pool behind these walls?

An employee cafeteria or cool coffee café? Craft Café was started by D4 eDiscovery to give their employees a place to grab lunch or meet.  But it was too good to keep to themselves, so it’s open to the public as well. On Friday night of the tour they are offering ticket holders complimentary light refreshments.  You can buy great stuff from their menu that night and on the Saturday tour day as well.

A s’mores bar in a burned out church.  We can’t make this stuff up.  Our new YUPs group (Young Urban Preservationists) will be hosting a s ‘mores bar for ticket holders on the Saturday in St Joseph’s Park. Come and roast your marshmallows in a space created from the shell of a church destroyed by fire decades ago.  Rumor has it there will be some cool things happening in the park on Friday night as well.

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How did we do?  Comment to let us know if you think this tour deserves the “U-word.”

There’s one more unique thing about the Inside Downtown Tour – last year it sold out for the first time ever.

>>Follow this link to get your tickets in advance!

Posted by Cindy Boyer, Director of Public Programs

Tour details: East Ave & E. Main St. | Friday September 12  5:30 to 8:30 pm |Saturday, September 13 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Advance tickets are $22. Landmark members may purchase $18 advance tickets from Landmark Society only, online or by phone at (585)546-7029 x11.  If tickets are available the days of the tour they will be $25 for all, sold at Tour HQ, Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo).

After you purchase your tickets, invite your friends and family to attend the tour too-use the hashtag #insidedowntown on social media!

>>Follow this link to get your tickets in advance!

Inside Downtown Tour: View from the Top

view towards lake form 1 East ave_resized

September 12 and 13. It’s a little more than a month away: the date when all of Rochester (and a good portion of Monroe County) will be at your feet.

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!

This year’s tour sites radiate off of East Avenue and East Main Street. The event will take place on two dates. On Friday, September 12 the sites will be open from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, leaving you time afterwards for a late dinner or refreshing beverage (or two) in the East End. Saturday, September 13 the sites will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

But you don’t have to choose a day. Your ticket can be used either day, and you can visit the 10 sites in any order that you wish. So – what types of views are we talking about?

The Sibley building will open for us. Winn Development has been creating an amazing transformation of the Grand Old Lady of downtown. You’ll see completed areas as well as sections that are in the process of rehabilitation (not normally open to the public.) The view? Weather depending, you’ll be able to step out on the roof of the former department store for an up close and personal with the iconic tower clock.

Sibley clock tower w Caitlin 1_resized

Several other buildings will have private home penthouses open, showcasing upper level living in every sense of the phrase. You’ll enjoy gazing down at the streetscape or across to the neighboring buildings – when you’re not marveling at the wonderful interiors.

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You’ll get to push this button on the IDT!

The pinnacle of the views will be from The Penthouse at One East Avenue. It would be tour-worthy for its fantastic Mid-Century Modern design alone, but the view is the icing on the cupcake. From their 11th story perch you can see Lake Ontario on a clear day, as you stroll the open balcony wrapping three sides of the space. If it is not a clear day you can enjoy the view from inside, as the glass curtain wall gives an unobstructed view no matter what the weather.

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Tour and Ticket Details: Your tour ticket will be good both Friday evening September 12th and Saturday during the day of September 13th. You may visit each tour stop one time, in any order that you desire. On Friday night we’ll have the friendly “Rochester Red Shirts” to greet you and guide you. These retired law enforcement officers from the Downtown Special Services Program will be easy to spot in their red polo shirts and will make sure you know the way to the different tour stops. They even wear glow lights at night!

Inside Downtown Tour Tickets will be available online on August 11th, or at Parkleigh and the The Landmark Society office by September 1st.  Advance tickets are $22. Landmark members may purchase $18 advance tickets from Landmark Society only, online or by phone at (585)546-7029 x11.  If tickets are available the days of the tour they will be $25 for all, sold at Tour HQ, Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo).

Last year’s tour was a sell-out!

At Risk Again: 660 W Main

Attend the Zoning Board of Appeals Hearing
Thursday, July 17
Arrive by 11:30-12 p.m.
(This is the last item on the agenda, case #12. Case 8 will begin at 11:30 a.m.)
City Hall – 3rd floor, City Council Chambers
View the ZBA Agenda

660WMain

photo courtesy Mike Governale, Rochester Subway

Background

The former church building at 660 West Main Street in the city of Rochester was constructed c.1870 and was originally home to the Westminster Presbyterian Church. In 1914, it became the home of the Liederkranz Club who occupied it until about 1974. Most recently, the church was owned and used by another religious congregation. The congregation sold the property in 2011 and it has sat vacant and largely unmaintained since that time. Under the City of Rochester’s Zoning Code, 660 West Main is a Designated Building of Historic Value (DBHV).

City Code prohibits the demolition of a DBHV, however, property owners can apply for a variance from the code to allow demolition. The Zoning Board of Appeals considers such applications.

In November, 2012, the owner applied for a variance to demolish this DBHV, proposing to replace it with generic new construction (a sideways strip mall) that would house a Dollar General. The owner also argued that the building should not be on the DBHV list. The ZBA denied the application for a variance and concurred with our opinion that there was no reason to remove the building from the DBHV list.

As of summer 2014, the owner has filed another application for demolition and proposes to replace the historic building with a new single story commercial building (click on the links below to see renderings of the proposed new construction). Now, the new 17,922 square foot building will supposedly house a full line food store.

Our Position

The Landmark Society maintains the same position that we held in 2012 when the ZBA last considered a proposal to demolish this protected historic structure. We support the many residents and property owners in the immediate area of the church who oppose demolition. Here’s why (read our complete comments as submitted to the Zoning Board on November, 2012 here):

  1. Significance as a Designated Building of Historic Value
    Recognizing the historic, cultural, and architectural significance, as well as its importance to the West Main streetscape, the City of Rochester’s Zoning Code has already established that the building can not and should not be demolished. The property owner fails to meet any of the six criteria outlined in Section 120-195 of the City Code that would allow for demolition of a DBHV.
  2. Community Impact & Streetscape
    Demolition and replacement with a building of far inferior quality and design would be a detriment to the streetscape and the surrounding community, particularly in light of ongoing and successful revitalization efforts that are occurring on either side of 660 W. Main. Millions of private and public dollars have been invested in the rehab of historic buildings and in sensitive modern infill just a block away. With growing interest in downtown and walkable urban neighborhoods, it is simply a matter of time before investment and demand spread to this section of West Main.
  3. Building Condition
    Contrary to the reports submitted by the property owner, the building is structurally sound and capable of being adapted to a new use. In 2013, The Landmark Society funded a report by a structural engineer that confirmed the building is indeed structurally sound. Click here to read it.
  4. Redevelopment & Adaptive Use Potential
    While a significant rehabilitation is needed, there is no reason the building could not be adapted to a new use. Placing a new use inside an existing historic building that relates to the streetscape and surrounding buildings would serve the city of Rochester much better than a generic new building. Historic church buildings throughout the country have been adapted to a variety of uses, including bars, restaurants, housing, and event space. Some have even been adapted to house corporate retailers such as pharmacies. The owner has not fully explored reuse potential.

While we acknowledge that not every historic building can or should be saved, we believe that in the case of 660 W. Main, the condition of the building, the concerns of the neighborhood, and the successful revitalization occurring just east of this property, make reuse a realistic option that merits further consideration.

What can you do?

  • Attend the Zoning Board of Appeals Hearing
    Thursday, July17
    Arrive by 11:30-12 p.m.
    (This is the last item on the agenda, case #12. Case 8 will begin at 11:30.)
    City Hall – 3rd floor, City Council Chambers
  • Submit written comments by July 16:
    Jill Symonds, City of Rochester, Bureau of Planning & Zoning, 30 Church Street, Room 125B, Rochester, NY 14612
    or Jill.Symonds@CityofRochester.gov