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. 

 

Heart Bombing with the YUPs

Last weekend the YUPs held their 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! We started with a brief lesson and video for neighborhood kids at the Lincoln Branch Library on Joseph Ave. YUP member and city schoolteacher, Bradley Huber, explained to the kids what historic preservation is all about, why old buildings matter, and what we can do to help bring them back to life.

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Then the fun started! With a smorgasbord of crafting supplies, adults and kids alike got to work making valentines for the abandoned former synagogue down the street. There was an explosion of pink construction paper, doilies, and stickers! Here we are hard at work:

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The end results were fantastic and heart-warming!

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We did an indoor heart bombing while we were still at the Library to spare some of the smaller kiddos from the subzero windchill.

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Then the rest of us (including a few adventurous and hardy kids!) trekked a few blocks down the street to heart bomb the former synagogue in person. The former B’Nai Israel synagogue has been vacant and deteriorating for years but its future is finally looking a little brighter. The Joseph Avenue Arts and Culture Alliance plans to adapt this building to a performing arts center and has begun planning for its adaptive reuse and fundraising for rehab.

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Next stop on the heart bombing express was a vacant former brewery along the Genesee River gorge on Cliff St. This amazing building is slated for demolition by the City of Rochester. Us YUPs think it has great potential for an adaptive reuse project.

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What better way to spend your Valentine’s Day weekend than by showing some love to a few historic buildings that could really use it?! You can show your love for old buildings all year long by getting involved with the YUPs, joining The Landmark Society, rehabbing a building, advocating for preservation in your community, and by spreading the word that these places matter.

 

 

 

Spring Partners Roundup

The Next Generation

The 2015 Spring Partners Roundup will take place Tuesday, March 10th at The Landmark Society’s offices. The Partners Roundup is an opportunity for community advocates and preservation partners from around the region to gather and share their communities’ or organizations’ challenges and successes. The formal portion of the program will feature a panel discussion with The Landmark Society’s Young Urban Preservationists, Landmark staff, and other young professionals who are active in their communities.

If your community or organization has struggled to engage the next generation, come armed with your questions—we’ll have an amazing panel on hand to brainstorm ideas and provide examples and inspiration!

Tuesday, March 10 | 6:00-8:00 PM | Landmark Society Offices | 133 S. Fitzhugh St. | Rochester, NY 14608

RSVP to Caitlin Meives

Spring Partners Roundup

The Next Generation

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The 2015 Spring Partners Roundup will take place Tuesday, March 10th at The Landmark Society’s offices. The Partners Roundup is an opportunity for community advocates and preservation partners from around the region to gather and share their communities’ or organizations’ challenges and successes. The formal portion of the program will feature a panel discussion with The Landmark Society’s Young Urban Preservationists, Landmark staff, and other young professionals who are active in their communities.

If your community or organization has struggled to engage the next generation, come armed with your questions—we’ll have an amazing panel on hand to brainstorm ideas and provide examples and inspiration!

Tuesday, March 10 | 6:00-8:00 PM | Landmark Society Offices | 133 S. Fitzhugh St. | Rochester, NY 14608

RSVP to Caitlin Meives

YUP Open Planning Meeting

Calling all  YUPs!
Open Meeting to Plan 2015 Activities

With input from the YUPs who attended our last Open Meeting back in September, we’ve sketched out a slew of awesome events and activities for 2015. Now we need your help to implement them! This is your chance to get involved with the Young Urban Preservationists and help make a difference here in Rochester and in communities across our region.

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Butapub at The Historic German House in the South Wedge will be hosting us. So stop in after work, grab some drinks, some food (the tempura sweet potato fries are AMAZING!), and get down to business.

RSVP on Facebook to let us know you’re coming. Email Caitlin Meives if you have questions.

 

Best of 2014: 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 2014 with a highlight of 14 preservation successes.

2014 saw many successes, as well as new challenges and opportunities. Thank you to everyone who supports our work; together we can make a difference in communities across WNY. Here’s to many more successes in 2015!

1. The Preservation Conference goes statewide

For the first time ever, our annual Preservation Conference became a statewide event. This also marked the first time New York state has seen a statewide preservation conference in well over a dozen years. Over 230 (a record-setting number) preservation colleagues and community advocates joined us in Rochester’s East End for three days of inspirational stories, calls to action, and networking.

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2. Young Urban Preservationists

In March, a group of passionate young preservationists launched our new affiliate group, the Young Urban Preservationists, or YUPs for short. Whether it was a happy hour, our first annual Bikes, Beer & Buildings scavenger hunt, the re-opening of St. Joseph’s Park, or roasting marshmallows at. St. Joseph’s during Inside Downtown, we’ve been so excited to see so many youngish folks interested in preservation. Follow the YUPs on Facebook and Instagram, sign up for the YUP e-newsletter, or contact Caitlin to learn how you can get involved.

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3. WHERE THE #&@% AM I?

No, we didn’t have too much eggnog over the Christmas holiday. WHERE THE #&@% AM I? is a new coaster program we launched, along with the YUPs, this year. You scan the QR code on the back of the coaster and learn some interesting and titillating (sometimes apocryphal) tidbits about your favorite watering hole (which just so happens to be in a historic building). It’s currently been released in a few select locations in and around Rochester: Abilene Bar & Lounge; 2Vine; Black Button; Edibles; and the American Hotel in Lima (home to the largest urinal in the U.S.). Visit where.landmarksociety.org to learn more.

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4. Eastman Dental Dispensary on the road to renewal

Some of the best (and most overdue) news of 2014–one of our 2013 Five to Revive properties, the Eastman Dental Dispensary on E. Main St. in Rochester, will be rehabbed by Home Leasing LLC into senior apartments. Inclusion on our Five to Revive list was critical in securing a $3.5 million NYS grant.

Eastman Dental Dispensary [photo courtesy Richard Margolis]

Eastman Dental Dispensary [photo courtesy Richard Margolis]

5. Instagram

We don’t take a lot of selfies but our staff does spend a lot of time on the road, visiting communities across the region, and getting inside some pretty amazing historic buildings. Now you can join us in our travels…Follow @landmarksociety.

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6. House & Garden Tour sells out

The Highland Park neighborhood welcomed us and about 2,000 of our closest friends into their homes in June. Tourgoers got a taste of some of the best that city living has to offer–active and engaged neighbors; verdant gardens; an Olmsted-designed park right in your backyard; easy access to dining and shopping on South Ave; and, of course, unique architecture.

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7. Inside Downtown Tour sells out

It was billed as “A View from the Top” and that was certainly the case! From the incredible attendance to the incredible views, the 14th annual Inside Downtown Tour was up there with the best of them.  Attendees enjoyed an inside look at loft apartments and other great spaces in the Main and East area, not to mention a sneak peak of the great rehabilitation taking place in the Sibley building.

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8. New programming at Stone-Tolan Historic Site

In partnership with Green Zebra Catering, we offered the first ever farm to table Harvest Dinner at Stone-Tolan. Earlier in the year, in honor of Brighton’s bicentennial, we partnered with Historic Brighton and the Town of Brighton to re-enact the first town meeting, which took place at the Stone-Tolan house. Our very own preservation planner made her (reluctant) acting debut at this event!

Stay tuned for more new opportunities to experience Monroe County’s oldest home in 2015!

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Photo courtesy David Boyer

Photo courtesy David Boyer

9. Cocktails & Carburetors

Tourgoers at this special event got a look inside exclusive historic garages and automobiles.

Photo courtesy David Boyer

Photo courtesy David Boyer

10. Ribbon cuttings galore!

Perhaps the most rewarding part of the work we do at The Landmark Society is attending the ribbon cuttings once rehab projects have been completed. These projects are years, often decades, in the making and represent the culmination of years of hard work, vision, and a significant financial investment. The resurgence of downtown Rochester and its surrounding city neighborhoods simply would not be possible without preservation and the adaptive reuse of historic buildings.

2014 saw the completion and beginning of lots of exciting projects. To name just a few: 300 Alexander, Button Lofts, Cunningham Carriage Factory, Hart’s Local Grocers, as well as ongoing work on the Clarendon Stone Store (Orleans County), Edge of the Wedge, the Hilton Garden Inn, the Sibley Building, and the Bevier Building.

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Clarendon Joe painting store

11. St. Joseph’s Park opens its gates

The YUPs marked the official re-opening of St. Joseph’s Park in downtown Rochester this summer with the Open the Gates event. Despite a massive downpour and thunderstorm early in the evening, the crowds came out in force once the storm passed. We have been thrilled with the interest and support for this unique urban park and hope to continue this success next spring and summer.

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12. Downtown Holley receives Preserve NY grant

With assistance from Landmark staff, the Village of Holley successfully completed a grant application to the Preservation League of New York State’s, Preserve New York grant program. This grant will help fund the completion of a National Register of Historic Places district nomination for downtown Holley. Once the paperwork is complete, properties within the historic district–including our 2013 Five to Revive, the Holley High School–will be eligible for state and federal rehab tax credits, a key revitalization tool.

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13. Travel Tours

Our Travel Tour season completed another successful run with trips to Buffalo and the Hudson Valley.

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14. YOU–our members and supporters

Last but definitely not least, our members and supporters. Whether you attended the House & Garden Tour, donated to the Annual Fund, sponsored one of our many events, donated to the Jubilee Silent Auction, journeyed with us to the Hudson Valley on our Travel Tour, volunteered at an event, opened your home to us, or simply renewed your membership, your support was the most important success of the year. THANK YOU!

LM-2014-annual-appeal-fall-FINAL-green_Page_1You can continue to support our work across the region by making a contribution to our 2014 Annual Fund.

 

ROC360 Walking Tour

Guided tour of downtown Rochester ends 300 feet above street level at CloudSmartz

Presented by the Young Urban Preservationists, the Democrat & Chronicle’s RocNext section, CloudSmartz Inc., and the Rochester Downtown Development Corp.

This event is free but registration is required.
>>Click here to reserve your spot.

Take a tour of downtown Rochester – the buildings in transition and a look at its new beginning – during ROC360, a guided walking tour sponsored by IT services company CloudSmartz Inc., the Democrat and Chronicle’s RocNext section and The Landmark Society’s Young Urban Preservationists, and the RDDC.

Guided tours begin at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18 at the Democrat and Chronicle, 55 Exchange Blvd., will loop around various sections of the city’s center, highlight some of the buildings under redevelopment and local history, and will end on the 21st floor of the First Federal Building, the home of CloudSmartz for a reception, networking and cocktails. The final tour will leave from the Democrat and Chronicle at 6 p.m.

Visitors will be encouraged to bring their smartphones, take pictures along various routes in the city and post to Instagram and Twitter using the #ROC360 hashtag. These photos may be used for an online gallery at the Democrat and Chronicle.

This event is free but registration is required.
>>Click here to reserve your spot.

Click here for a sneak peek of the 360 degree view you’ll have from 300 feet up at CloudSmartz, Inc’s offices.

**Rain location: Guests will be invited to CloudSmartz Inc. for a reception, networking and refreshments in case of heavy showers.

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YUP Open Meeting!

The Young Urban Preservationists (YUPs) are holding an open meeting Tuesday Sept. 9, 6pm at the The Landmark Society of Western New York, Inc. offices (133 S. Fitzhugh St.) and all youngish folks from various walks of life and professions who are interested in preservation and community revitalization are invited!

Come find out how you can get more involved with us and plan events for the coming year! Please email Caitlin cmeives@landmarksociety.org if you plan on attending. We hope to see you on the 8th!

Limited off-street parking available in the lots on the north and south sides of the building. Park only in spots facing our building.

[Please note the date change to the 9th. Prior facebook posts listed the meeting on the 8th]

Read more about the YUP group here

Open The Gates @ St. Joseph’s Park

The Landmark Society’s Young Urban Preservationists (YUPs) present Open the Gates @ St. Joseph’s Park on Friday, August 1st. St. Joseph’s Park, the remains of a church that burned in 1975 and was converted to an urban park, will officially re-open its gates to the public on First Friday. The YUP-sponsored event will include: music, munchies, lawn games, and St. Joe’s Mo’s (mojitos). Photography by Richard Margolis will also be on display. The event is free and open to the public!

This event is sponsored by Abundance Cooperative Market. Generous funding for repairs at St. Joseph’s Park provided by the Rochester Area Community Foundation and the Davenport-Hatch Foundation. Landscape services provided by Ted Collins Tree & Landscape.
Friday, August 1st | 7:00-10:00 PM | St. Joseph’s Park, northeast corner of Pleasant St. & N. Clinton Ave. | FREE!

YUPs Present: Bikes, Beer & Buildings

BIKES BEER & BUILDINGS – ROCHESTER’S FIRST BIKE SCAVENGER HUNT

YUP-BBB-poster-002-small-revGrab your bikes, your smart phone, a few friends and join the Young Urban Preservationists (or YUPs—a group of The Landmark Society) for Rochester’s first bike scavenger hunt, followed by a few well-deserved drinks at LUX Bar & Lounge. You’ll see some of Rochester’s best known gems and little known secrets, you’ll get some exercise, and you might even learn something new about the Flower City.

Teams of 1-4
$5/person

Meet in Star Alley (662 South Ave. in the S. Wedge) starting at 12:30 PM to get your list of clues and complete the registration process with your Instagram and Munzee account names. We’ll send you off at 1:00 PM sharp. Meet back at LUX Lounge by 3:00 PM. First beer is on us!

There’ll be great prizes from great local business and organizations!

>>Get your team together and grab your tickets now!

 

Generous support provided by:

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