Highland Park, Lilac, and Azalea residents:
Several areas surrounding Highland Park (see map below) are eligible to become National Register Historic Districts, which would make homeowners eligible for the NYS Historic Homeowners Tax Credit program! The Landmark Society is working with Highland Park Neighborhood Association and representatives from the Azalea and Lilac neighborhoods, as well as SEAC, to spread the word about this program and gather community support.
A Zoom meeting on Wednesday, October 27th provided information about the project. You can view the video below and scroll down for complete details about this exciting project!
Areas eligible for National Register listing
Black outline – Existing Mt. Hope-Highland Historic District
Grey areas – The Mt. Hope-Highland Historic District is eligible for expansion to include these areas.
Blue areas – The potential Ellwanger Barry / Highland Park Neighborhood Historic District is officially eligible for listing in the National Register. The Azalea neighborhood is also eligible for listing in the National Register.
Yellow area – The potential Gregory Tract Historic District is officially eligible for listing in the National Register and the first phase of the nomination has been completed.
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 Process & Next Steps
- The Gregory Tract Historic District has been in the works for several years and half of the paperwork has been completed.
- Raise funds to complete the Gregory Tract.
- Determine if there is resident support to move forward with the eligible new district (Ellwanger Barry / Highland Park Neighborhood Historic District) and to expand the existing Mt. Hope-Highland district to include portions of the Azalea and Lilac neighborhoods as well as a small section between the Park and Highland Hospital).
- If residents wish to pursue listing, HPNA and/or SEAC will hire The Landmark Society as the consultant to complete the extensive research and writing required for a National Register nomination.
- Landmark Society will work with NY State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to determine the final boundaries of each district and district expansion.
- Meanwhile, Landmark Society will assist the neighborhood with fundraising efforts. Funds can be raised through grants, private donations, merchandise sales, events, and more.
- Once the fundraising and nomination paperwork are complete, the nomination is submitted to the National Register staff at the NY SHPO for review.
- Landmark Society makes changes requested by SHPO.
- SHPO schedules the nomination for review and approval at a quarterly State Review Board hearing.
- Once approved by the State Review Board, the nomination is forward to the National Park Service for final approval.
Often, NY SHPO will allow homeowners to use the Historic Homeowners Tax Credit program prior to the final completion of the nomination. In this case, homeowners submit a tax credit application, receive condition approval from SHPO staff, do the approved work, and then can claim the credits on their NYS income tax once the nomination has been approved at the State level.
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 Caitlin Meives.
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.