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!



Heart Bombs Across the Rust Belt


1 thought on “Heart Bombs Across the Rust Belt”

  1. Greetings Rochester YUPs Heart Bombers and congratulations on another successful event.
    Check out the 2nd annual Landmarks Society of Greater Utica 2017 Heart Bombing on our Facebook page- photos & videos – five sites ( during a snow storm- that’s heart bombing in upstate NY, last year it was 19 degrees without the wind chill)
    The Olbiston Apartments- 1898-1900
    The Charles Millar House/ Rosemont Inn B & B c.1864
    The Savings Bank of Utica – 1900 (Charles W. Gibson)
    The New Century Club- 1826/1898 ( F.H. Gouge- FAIA)
    Historic Rutger Park (1820) and the Miller-Conkling- Kernan House( Phillip Hooker) -1830 and Munn’s Castle ( AJ Davis) 1856
    Some sites are on our 2016 “Sixteen to Save” list. Some in great shape but as you all say we just couldn’t help ourselves we love them so much.

    Love a Rust Belt landmark- they help tell our upstate New York story.

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