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Cobbs Hill Historic District

PROJECT BACKGROUND

The Landmark Society, on behalf of the City of Rochester, completed a City-wide Historic Resources Survey in 2021. The purpose of that survey was to identify areas or individual properties and sites that meet National Register of Historic Places designation criteria, as well as to create an inventory of the historically significant properties within the City of Rochester. As part of the survey, several areas around Cobbs Hill Park were identified for their significance in Architecture, Horticulture/Landscape Architecture, and Community Planning & Development.

As a result, the Cobbs Hill Historic District Committee and the Southeast Area Coalition (SEAC) are planning to contract with The Landmark Society to complete a National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Cobbs Hill Historic District.

PROPOSED COBBS HILL DISTRICT MAP

Cobbs Hill Historic District

Who is involved?

The Landmark Society will perform the work of the preservation consultant, completing the extensive research, writing, and communication with SHPO necessary for a National Register nomination. Bero Architecture will be part of the consultant team, focusing on the Cobbs Hill Park, Washington Grove, and Brighton Cemetery portions of the nomination. Landmark Society staff will assist the neighborhoods with fundraising efforts, holding public meetings, and spreading the word. 

The Cobbs Hill Historic District Committee will lead the charge on fundraising and spreading the word.

As a 501(c)(3), the Southeast Area Coalition (SEAC) will act as the fiduciary agent for the neighbors, accepting private donations and submitting grant applications.

The NY State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) administers the State and National Register of Historic Places programs. Their staff will work with The Landmark Society to review the draft district nomination, provide feedback, and scheduling the nomination for the State Review Board. Once approved by the State Review Board, SHPO will officially list the district in the State Register of Historic Places and send the nomination to the National Park Service. SHPO also administers the Historic Tax Credit programs, which homeowners of contributing properties will become eligible for once the district is listed in the State Register of Historic Places.

The National Park Service (NPS) oversees the final step of listing the historic district in the National Register of Historic Places.

Next Steps

In December 2023, the The Landmark Society, in partnership with Bero Architecture, provided the Cobbs Hill Historic District Committee with a proposal to complete the National Register nomination. Our consultant team was selected in February 2024.

In March 2024, the Committee applied for a Preserve NY grant to fund a portion of the project. Preserve NY is a regrant partnership of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the Preservation League of NYS made possible with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, with generous additional support provided by the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. Grant awards are typically made in the summer. The Preserve NY grant requires a 20% cash match, so neighborhood fundraising will be necessary. 

If the Committee receives a Preserve NY grant, the project will begin in the Fall of 2024 and take approximately twelve (12) months. The first step will be a kick-off meeting, which will inform residents about the anticipated district boundaries, the National Register of Historic Places program, and the historic tax credit programs. You can learn more about these programs by watching the public meetings conducted for the Highland Park neighborhoods below. The Landmark Society completed this project in 2023. 

Highland Park Project Public Kick-Off Meeting:

Highland Park National Register and Tax Credit Informational Meeting:

National Register Historic District Nomination Process:

FAQs

Does listing our neighborhood in a National Register Historic District restrict what I can do to my home?

NO.

What’s the difference between a National Register Historic District and a City Preservation District?

A City Preservation District is a part of the City of Rochester’s Zoning Code. Alterations to the exterior of properties within a Preservation District require a Certificate of Appropriateness. Demolition is prohibited. National Register districts offer no protections or restrictions when private money is being used.

Who qualifies for the NYS Historic Homeowners Tax Credit program?

Owner occupied homes located in a qualifying census tract (all of the City of Rochester is in a qualifying tract) and a National Register historic district.

What type of work qualifies for tax credits?

Kitchens & bath remodels, porch repairs, paint, HVAC, window repairs, floor refinishing, etc. Landscaping and garages/carriage houses, and appliances do not qualify.

How do I apply for tax credits?

Before beginning any work, complete an application detailing your proposed work. Submit to the State Historic Preservation Office.

Still have QUESTIONS? Contact Megan Klem at mklem@landmarksociety.org.

>>Click here to learn more about the NYS Historic Homeowners Tax Credit program

If you have specific questions about the tax credit program, you can contact Christina Vagvolgyi with the NY State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) at: 518-268-2217 or Christina.Vagvolgyi@parks.ny.gov.

>>Click here to learn more about the National Register of Historic Places