Heart Bombs Across the Rust Belt

On February 11th, young preservationist organizations across the Rust Belt–in cities like Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis–gathered in their respective cities to show their love for old buildings in need of some TLC. In Rochester, The Landmark Society’s Young Urban Preservationists (YUPs) convened at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in the northeast section of the city.

How do you show your love for old buildings, you ask? By heart bombing them, of course! A phenomenon created by Buffalo’s Young Preservationists five years ago, heart bombing is a fun and festive way to draw attention to vacant buildings and to the potential that these buildings have to serve as community assets rather than eyesores. The process is simple: you gather all your favorite crafting supplies (construction paper, doilies, glitter, markers, etc) and your favorite preservationists in a room, make valentines for needy buildings, then go out and tape those valentines to the building(s) in question or just hold them up, take lots of pictures, and post those pictures to social media.

The YUPs put their own spin on heart bombing by involving young children. Like last year, we started the day by teaching some kids about preservation and how vacant buildings can be transformed into community assets. This year we worked with kids at the Polish School at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church.

The kids had a great time learning about preservation, watching the Disney film The Little House, and crafting their own valentines. Then we all headed across the street to heart bomb one of our 2013 Five to Revive, the former Pulaski Library.

After heart bombing Pulaski, the older YUPs headed off to a few more buildings…

The vacant former theater on Monroe Avenue:

A house in the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood that has been vacant since 1996:

The Susan B. Anthony Museum & House. Not a building in need but we love it so much, we couldn’t help ourselves! (and we were in the neighborhood):

And, finally, the Hotel DeMay in Greece:

To learn more about why this building is at-risk, follow the Save the DeMay Facebook page.

To see heart bombing in action all over the Rust Belt and the rest of the country, search #IHeartSavingPlaces on Instagram. We hope you’ll continue to show your love for historic buildings all year long AND join us for next year’s heart bombing!


Best of 2016: Preservation Successes 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 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


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.


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


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!


3. Sunset Concerts play at Landmark Society sites


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


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


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


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

LS_LGBTQLandmarksflyer (2)

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


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


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.


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. 


Hillside Cemetery Chapel Restoration receives Grant


Progress for another of our Five to Revive properties!: the Clarendon Historical Society just received a $10,000 grant from the Orleans County / Curtis Foundation to help in the restoration of the 1894 Hillside Cemetery Chapel, which was on our 2014 list. This building will grace our landscape and community life for years to come, thanks to this support!

Learn more HERE.

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Eastman Dental Rehab wins Preservation Award from NYS

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We are honored to have been a part of the rehabilitation of Eastman Dental Dispensary, which was one of five projects to receive a 2016 Preservation Award from the NYS Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation in Albany earlier this month. This historic property was on our first Five to Revive list in 2013, and it is now home to many in downtown Rochester. That’s our Executive Director Wayne Goodman second from the right!


This is the power of preservation…

Learn more HERE.

2016 Preservation Awards – Craftsman Award

The Landmark Society’s 2016 Preservation Awards ceremony is only two days away. Today we finish up the list of 2016 award recipients with the Craftsman Award. This year’s Craftsman Award will be presented to Jim Turner, custom architectural millwork and restoration specialist from Honeoye Falls Millwork in Honeoye Falls.


2016 Landmark Society Craftsman Award recipient Jim Turner

With an impressive range of woodworking and millwork projects, Jim Turner is a veteran craftsman whose exceptional artistry has enhanced historic buildings in communities from New York State to Mississippi. Customers have included homeowners, churches, commercial properties, educational institutions, and historic sites.  At his workshop in the historic village of Honeoye Falls, he creates reproduction woodwork for window and column restoration, custom moldings, stair parts, door reproduction and other architectural millwork projects.  Special projects have included the documentation and reproduction of the intricate, 18th-century woodwork for the Eastman School of Music’s Craighead-Saunders pipe organ, which is a recreation of an original 1776 pipe organ in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Join us on Sunday, November 13 at 3 PM at Rochester’sCity Hall to help honor the individuals and organizations in our nine-county area who have made outstanding efforts in the preservation of their homes, public buildings, historic properties, and landscapes. The event is free and open to the public.

2016 Preservation Awards – Special Citation

A Special Citation award recognizes projects that do not fit into other categories or  outstanding individual or group accomplishments in the field of historic preservation.

This year the Landmark Society Preservation Awards Committee will present Special Citation awards to Bradley Huber of Irondequoit and the Rochester Garden Club.

2016 Special Citation Award recipient, Bradley Huber of Irondequoit.

2016 Special Citation Award recipient, Bradley Huber of Irondequoit.

Bradley Huber is an enthusiastic preservation planning and neighborhood advocate, who brings exceptional talent and dedication to his many community activities.   A resident of Winona Boulevard neighborhood in West Irondequoit, he has re-activated the Winona Woods Neighborhood Association, of which he serves as president. His own home, a distinctive early-20th-century Bungalow, has been featured in “This Old House” magazine, where its rehabilitation was described.  Bradley is also a member of the Steering Committee for the Landmark Society’s Young Urban Preservationists (YUPs), whose creative programming has drawn an entirely new – and younger – generation of advocates into local preservation activities.

2016 Special Citation Award recipient, Rochester Garden Club, recently restored the Highland Park Pansy Bed.

2016 Special Citation Award recipient, Rochester Garden Club, recently restored the Highland Park Pansy Bed.

The Rochester Garden Club celebrated its centennial in 2015. It has spear-headed major landscape initiatives in the greater Rochester area which have enhanced our community for over 100 years. Established in 1915, the club has focused a wide range of public landscapes that have included the gardens at the Susan B. Anthony House, the Poet’s Garden in Highland Park, the Liberty Pole in downtown Rochester, the landscaping and trails at the Cumming Nature Center in Ontario County and the preservation of the Bergen Swamp in Genesee County.  A major donation recently enabled the restoration of the Pansy Bed at Highland Park, where that popular garden was re-designed and re-built to include handicapped accessibility.

The Landmark Society’s 2016 Annual Preservation Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 13 at 3 PM in Rochester’s historic City Hall, located downtown at 30 Church Street.

2016 Preservation Awards – Special Achievement

The Special Achievement Award recognizes accomplishments that have occurred over a lengthy period of time. This year’s Special Achievement Award will be presented to Thomas X.Grasso, president emeritus of the Canal Society of New York State and commissioner of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

2016 Special Achievement Award recipient, Thomas X. Grasso.

2016 Special Achievement Award recipient, Thomas X. Grasso.

For over three decades, Pittsford resident Tom Grasso has committed his time and talent to the promotion and redevelopment of the historic Erie Canal in New York State.  He is considered a statewide leader in the preservation of the canal and a strong advocate for revitalization efforts of the canal throughout the community.  His strong leadership has brought the World Canal Conference to Rochester twice, during the past decade.  Now retired faculty from the geology department at Monroe Community College, Tom is the author of numerous canal-related publications.  In 2012, the “Thomas X. Grasso Lodge” was dedicated in Greece Canal Park, to honor his many decades of work and advocacy in promoting the canal, often considered the greatest 19th-century engineering project in the United States.

The Landmark Society’s 2016 Annual Preservation Awards ceremony will take place this Sunday, November 13 at 3 PM in Rochester’s historic City Hall, located downtown at 30 Church Street.

2016 Preservation Awards – Paul Malo Award for Community Preservation Advocacy

The Paul Malo Award was established in honor of the late Syracuse University architect, professor, and preservation advocate who was a friend and colleague of The Landmark Society for over four decades. The award recognizes community activists who have done outstanding work in the field of historic preservation.

This year’s Paul Malo Award for Community Preservation Advocacy is awarded to Arlene Wright Vanderlinde and the late Leo Dodd from Historic Brighton.

2016 Paul Malo Award recipient, Arlene Wright Vanderlinde.

2016 Paul Malo Award recipient, Arlene Wright Vanderlinde.

Arlene Wright Vanderlinde and the late Leo Dodd are two individuals whose dedication, work and commitment to the Brighton community have resulted in a wider awareness of and appreciation for its history and built environment.  Long active in historic preservation advocacy, Arlene is a founder of Historic Brighton, the organization that promotes the history and architecture of that community.  Her tireless work includes educational, promotional, and publication projects that have brought attention to these important topics.


2016 Paul Malo Award recipient, the late Leo Dodd.

2016 Paul Malo Award recipient, the late Leo Dodd.

The late Leo Dodd, a gifted artist and trustee of Historic Brighton, was its principal researcher, who amassed an impressive archive cataloguing the history of brick manufacturing, the town’s major industry during the 19th century.  “The Bricks of Brighton” project recognizes that legacy, with a publication and recently created town hiking trail. The collective work of these two dedicated individuals, through their programming for Historic Brighton, has increased the visibility of historic preservation in Brighton.

The Landmark Society’s 2016 Annual Preservation Awards ceremony will take place this Sunday, November 13 at 3 PM in Rochester’s historic City Hall, located downtown at 30 Church Street.

2016 Preservation Awards – Historic Home Award

The Landmark Society’s Annual Awards ceremony is less than a week away. Join us on Sunday, November 13 at 3 PM at Rochester’s historic City Hall, 30 Church Street. Awards are given to individuals and organizations in our nine-county area who have made outstanding efforts in the preservation of their homes, public buildings, historic properties, and landscapes.  This week we continue to introduce this year’s award recipients.

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.

2016 Historic Home Award recipients - Nicholas & Alice Zumbulyadis, 2 Seneca Parkway.

2016 Historic Home Award recipients – Nicholas & Alice Zumbulyadis, 2 Seneca Parkway.

2 Seneca Parkway
Rochester, New York
Owners:  Nicholas & Alice Zumbulyadis

Located in Rochester’s Maplewood neighborhood, this handsome Tudor Revival style residence was built in 1911, adjacent to Maplewood Park and the Genesee River gorge.  With amenities designed by the renowned Frederick Law Olmsted, the surrounding neighborhood is a designated historic district listed in the National Register of Historic Places. For over 20 years, this house has been the home of Nicholas and Alice Zumbulyadis, who have completed a series of major projects to restore the house to its original appearance. Projects include the restoration of missing moldings and paneling, re-opening access to the original pantry, and fabricating new, historically designed doors for their early 20th-century garage. In completing these projects, the owners are among the first in our region to take advantage of the New York State Homeowner’s Tax Credit program for the rehabilitation of National Register listed houses.

2016 Preservation Awards – Historic Landscape

The Historic Landscape Award recognizes and encourages the preservation, restoration and stewardship of historically significant landscapes in our nine-county region.

2016 Historic Landscape Award recipient - Hurd Orchards. Photo by Andy Olenick.

2016 Historic Landscape Award recipient – Hurd Orchards. Photo by Andy Olenick.

Hurd Orchards
17260 Ridge Road, Town of Murray, Orleans County

Established nearly 200 years ago, this historic farm is owned and operated by the seventh generation of the Hurd family. Located in northeast Orleans County, the large fruit and flower farm is a major agricultural operation in the region. While maintaining the historic agricultural character of the orchards, fields, and outbuildings, the family has also continued to operate their property as a working farm. Historic preservation of the property’s buildings has also been a priority for the Hurd family, who has rehabilitated a number of the 19th-century houses on the farm. In addition to agriculture, the family established “Hurd Orchards,” a farm market on Ridge Road that offers retail, wholesale, special events, and a catalogue business based on the seasonal fruit, flower and bakery products that originate on the farm.

The Landmark Society’s 2016 Annual Preservation Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 13 at 3 PM in Rochester’s historic City Hall, the handsomely restored Richardsonian Romanesque landmark located downtown at 30 Church Street.

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