This year marks The Landmark Society’s 45th annual House and Garden Tour on June 6th and 7th. We look forward each year to dreaming up exciting locations that feature unique and notable pieces of the greater Rochester region’s unique architectural heritage. This year we are thrilled to be able to present a unique enclave of homes surrounding Cobbs Hill, one of our four glacial moraines.
Once you’re done reading about one of this year’s unique architectural treasures,1780 Highland Avenue, be sure to go to the House and Garden Tour page for more information and to purchase you tickets.
I have always favored Tudor Revival houses for their Arts and Crafts design influence as well as their whimsical and sometimes formal anglo-saxon stylistic tendencies. One of our most prolific local architects who designed dozens of homes in this style, was Leander W. McCord (1884-1953). A life-long Rochesterian, Mr. McCord studied architecture at the Mechanics Institute, now RIT, as well as the Ecole de Beaux-Arts in Paris, and apprenticed under J. Foster Warner from 1902-1910 before establishing a partnership with Fred M. Ives, and subsequently his own independent practice in 1919. While perfectly capable at designing in many of the numerous romantic revival styles popular before WWII, he particularly excelled in his unique interpretation of the Tudor Revival style, and this home is no exception.
Built in 1927 for Emil and Elizabeth Rodenbeck, descendants of the family owned the home until ultimately selling it to the current owners. It is because of this that the home retains so much of its original character as well as priceless documentation including historic photographs, drawings, and even the original specifications for construction. Many of Mr. McCord’s signature touches, such as large wood turnings, corbels, and brackets, rough split field stone, and whimsical garden trellises, are present as well as his distinctive sense of proportion.
The interior is not left wanting for light or views due to the plethora of leaded glass windows and doors throughout, as well as the several lines of sight that literally pass from one side of the house clear to the outside.
The crown jewel of the house is undoubtedly the kitchen which the current owners reorganized and retained the original leaded-glass gumwood cabinetry. It is truly something you have to see to believe.
-Written by Christopher Brandt, Member of Home and Garden Tour Committee