Old House Help

Old House Help is a program designed to help homeowners navigate old-house maintenance and care. Program elements include:


Attention homeowners in National Register historic districts! Did you know that you are eligible to apply to the NYS Historic Homeownership Rehabilitation Tax Credit program? Administered by the NY State Historic Preservation Office, this program provides a credit off your NYS income tax that helps offset the cost of repairs and upgrades to your historic home!

We want to help you save money and maintain your home’s character. Tune in for our next Informational Webinar OR hire us to do the application work for you!

>>Click here to download a PDF that explains our fee structure and services.

>>Then, contact Director of Preservation Services, Megan Klem, to discuss your project.

Am I eligible for tax credits?

There are two primary requirements to be eligible for the NYS Historic Homeowners Tax Credit program:

  1. Your home must be located in a National Register historic district or be individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  2. You must be in a qualifying census tract. Contact us and we’ll let you know if you are (all historic districts located in the city of Rochester are).
  3. You must be an owner-occupant of the home.

Is my house in a historic district?

There are over a dozen National Register-listed historic districts within the city of Rochester. They include:

  • Maplewood Historic District
  • Arvine Heights Historic District
  • Sibley-Elmdorf Historic District (Sibley Tract in the 19th Ward)
  • Chili-West Historic District (19th Ward)
  • Inglewood & Thurston Historic District (19th Ward)
  • Grove Place Historic District
  • Third Ward (Corn Hill) Historic District
  • Madison Square – West Main Historic District (Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood)
  • Mt. Hope – Highland Historic District
  • Linden-South Historic District
  • South Wedge Historic District
  • East Avenue Historic District
  • Park Avenue Historic District
  • Browncroft Historic District

There are also many districts throughout our region, as well as areas that are eligible to become historic districts. Have questions about whether you’re in a historic district? Email us!


Contact Director of Preservation Services, Megan Klem.

If you missed our June 3, 2021 Old House Help informational webinar you can check it out below or by clicking here.

Esther Krakower Scholarship Program

Homeowners with National Register-listed properties and incomes below $50,000 (for single income households) or $90,000 (for dual income households) can apply for scholarships that cover the full cost of hiring Landmark staff to complete the Homeowner Tax Credit application.

>>Contact Megan Klem to obtain an application.


If you own a property in one of the City of Rochester’s Preservation Districts, you will need to submit a Certificate of Appropriateness application for the Preservation Board’s review and approval prior to undertaking exterior building or site work. Landmark staff can be hired to assist with the application process and present the project to the board. Typically, properties in the city Preservation Districts are also in a National Register Historic District. Our staff can assist with both application processes to get you the approvals you  need prior to starting work.

*Note – The Landmark Society does not provide assistance in obtaining required building permits from the city.

Learn more about the City of Rochester’s Preservation Districts and individually landmarked properties here:

Contact Megan Klem at with questions or to discuss your project.


Landmarks Magazine features a column by veteran Landmark Society Trustee and former Board President, Jerry Ludwig. For decades Jerry has helped owners of historic properties navigate the technical side of properly caring for and maintaining a historic building. Jerry is a stalwart supporter of craftspeople and the traditional trades. Until recently, Jerry penned a home maintenance and preservation column in the Democrat & Chronicle. Jerry has dubbed his Landmarks column The Home Front, where he will be offering suggestions on how to care for historic homes in a sensitive and respectful manner. You can read more about Jerry’s background in the Winter 2020 issue and check out his tips and recommendations in future issues.


Looking for a skilled contractor to help work on your old house? Click here for our Contractor Request Form and we’ll connect you with specialist in the Western New York area.

The Old House Help program is sponsored by Esther Krakower, REALTOR GRI CRS CRB CRP e-PRO, HUNT Real Estate ERA