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 Highland Park were identified for their significance in Architecture, Horticulture/Landscape Architecture, and Community Planning & Development.
As a result, the Highland Park Neighborhood Association, representatives from the Azalea and Lilac neighborhoods, and the Southeast Area Coalition (SEAC) partnered with the Landmark Society to complete National Register of Historic Places nominations for the following districts:
- Mt. Hope – Highland Historic District: Originally listed to the National Register in 1974, the Mt. Hope-Highland Historic District excluded portions of Mount Hope Cemetery, Highland Park, and residential areas. The district was updated to include historic context and significance information, as well as property descriptions that were not included in the original nomination. The district boundary was amended to remove Mount Hope Cemetery because the cemetery has since been listed individually in the National Register. The boundary was also amended to include the remaining sections of Highland Park, as well as Reservoir Avenue, Pavilion Street, Highland Avenue, Furman Crescent, Alpine Street, Bellevue Avenue, and sections of Mt. Hope Avenue, South Avenue, and Mt. Vernon Avenue. The new boundary for the Mt. Hope-Highland Historic District can be seen in the map below.
- Ellwanger & Barry – Highland Park Historic District: This new historic district includes properties on Linden Street, Crawford Street, Mulberry Street, Rockingham Street, Gregory Hill Road, Highland Parkway, Greenview Drive, and portions of Mt. Vernon Avenue, Meigs Street, and South Goodman Street. The extent of the Ellwanger & Barry – Highland Park Historic District can be seen in the map below.
- Highland Park Terrace Historic District: This new historic district includes properties along Highland Avenue, Elmwood Avenue, Laney Road, Azalea Road, and Meadowbrook Road (between the southern section of Highland Park and South Goodman Street). The extent of the Highland Park Terrace Historic District can be seen in the map below.
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. Landmark Society staff will also assist the neighborhoods with fundraising efforts, holding public meetings, and spreading the word.
Neighborhood groups (Highland Park Neighborhood Association and representatives from the Lilac and Azalea neighborhoods) 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 National Register of Historic Places program and the Historic Tax Credit programs. Their staff will work with Landmark Society to review the district nominations. Once the districts are complete, homeowners will also submit their tax credit applications to SHPO.
The Landmark Society has completed the National Register nominations for the (1) Mt. Hope – Highland Historic District update and expansion, (2) Ellwanger & Barry – Highland Park Historic District, and (3) Highland Park Terrace Historic District. The nominations have been submitted to the NY SHPO for review and are scheduled to go before the State Review Board for approval at their December 2023 meeting. In coordination with HPNA, the Landmark Society hosted a public meeting to share information on the National Register nominations and State and Federal tax credit program that property owners may now be eligible for. Watch the meeting, along with the project kick-off meeting, below.
Project Public Kick-Off Meeting:
National Register and Tax Credit Informational Meeting:
National Register Historic District Nomination Process:
Does listing our neighborhood in a National Register Historic District restrict what I can do to my home?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.