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2020 Preservation Award Recipients

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Each fall, The Landmark Society presents awards to projects, people, and organizations who, through their dedication and hard work, have contributed to historic preservation in our nine-county area.

Award of Merit

The Award of Merit is for the sympathetic rehabilitation of an historic building or structure in our nine-county region completed within the past two years.

Sands Family Foundation Theatre
Fort Hill Performing Arts Center
20 Fort Hill Avenue, City of Canandaigua, Ontario County

This award recognizes the handsome rehabilitation of the long-vacant auditorium located in the 1928 annex of the former Canandaigua Academy, which served as the city’s high school for over half a century. While the main academy building was rehabilitated for senior apartments in 1996, the annex remained vacant for another twenty years. Community support, dedicated volunteers and necessary funding were finally in place to launch this project several years ago.  The result is an impressive performing arts center, operated by Fort Hill Performing Arts Center, Inc.  The $4.48 million rehabilitation of the 427-seat auditorium included new seating, modernized stage design, improved lighting and support facilities.  Project designer is Norbert Hauser of NH Architecture, with general contractor Conifer-Chase and Conifer Realty LLC, using the State and Federal historic tax credits for the building rehabilitation.

Special Citations

A Special Citation provides recognition for projects that do not fit into other categories or recognizes an outstanding individual or group accomplishments in the field of historic preservation. This year’s Special Citations were presented to five honorees.

Greg Lawrence, Cobblestone Information Base Project

This challenging project is a digital repository for all known information on approximately 1,000 cobblestone buildings in North American, including those in New York State and Canada.  This unique archive includes over 6,800 images, in a data base created, pro bono, by Greg Lawrence on behalf of the Cobblestone Museum/Gaines, NY and the Landmark Society of Western New York.  Documentation includes the extensive research complied over the past eight decades by  pioneer surveyors Carl Schmidt, Cary Lattin, Olaf Shelgren, Robert Frasch, Gerda Peterich, Robert Roudebush, and Martin and  Sheila Wolfish  Visit www.cobblestonemuseum.org to access the database.

Ed Varno, Executive Director Emeritus
Ontario County Historical Society
City of Canandaigua, Ontario County

Recently retired after 25 years of service, Ed’s creative and energetic approach to marketing, fund-raising and community advocacy has elevated the success of the Ontario County Historical Society, with increased visibility and expanded community engagement during his tenure. With a background in community planning,  Ed launched important projects for the 117-year-old organization, including the careful repair of the Society’s historic, Claude Bragdon-designed headquarters in Canandaigua,  as well as a new, sensitively-designed addition, that will provide expanded space for the Society’s extensive collections and museum exhibits.

Daniel & Ethel Chadwick, Glasow House
160 Morgan Road, Town of Chili, Monroe County

Known as the “Glasow House,” this residence was built in 1963 and is one of iconic architect James Johnson’s earliest designs.  The unique house has a high degree of integrity, regarding its design and materials, which has been carefully maintained by the Chadwicks, who purchased the home in 2006.   Their devoted stewardship of this unique property in the town of Chili sets an important example for owners of other Mid-Century Modern homes.

New Bethel CME Zion Church
270 Scio Street, City of Rochester, Monroe County

A major visual landmark in the Marketview Heights neighborhood, this 1888 edifice has been the home of the current congregation since the early 1950s.  Over the past six years, they have pursued the best of historic preservation practices, achieving official City of Rochester landmark designation, developing strategic plans to restore their building,  and consulting with The Landmark Society, Bero Architecture PLLC, and New York Landmarks Conservancy staff, which includes the receipt of a Landmark Society Preservation Grant to assist with the cost of a “Building Condition Report.”

Reynolds Family and the American Hotel
7304 East Main Street, Village of Lima, Livingston County

A major landmark in Livingston County since the 1860s, the American Hotel celebrates 100 years of Reynolds family ownership in 2020. Listed in the State and National Register of Historic Places, the hotel includes overnight lodging, the original restaurant, with its renowned home-made soups, and spacious third floor living quarters, which has been home to three generations of the Reynolds family. For their century-long stewardship of this beloved regional landmark, we honor the Reynolds family.

Small Business Awards (NEW!)

New this year, the Small Business Award recognizes small businesses that occupy historic commercial buildings and have demonstrated their commitment to preservation via the care, repair, and/or long-term operation at these sites.

Our first two honorees for this award represent outstanding business enterprises in the city of Rochester.

Swan Family of Restaurants
City of Rochester, Monroe County

Owners of six restaurants in the East Avenue Preservation District, the Swan family has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the care and rehabilitation of these properties, most recently with the substantial renovation of Roux, their French-inspired restaurant, with historically appropriate storefront and interior repairs.

Rocky’s
190 Jay Street, City of Rochester, Monroe County

Opened in 1949 and run by the Joseph Mastrella family, this is the oldest operating Italian restaurant in Rochester.  Located in the Brown’s Square neighborhood, the restaurant offers large portions of traditional Italian food and aims to “make you feel at home,” which countless politicians, luminaries and the general public have done for over 70 years.

Stewardship Award

The Stewardship Award recognizes an individual or organization that has provided continued care of and commitment to the preservation of an architecturally and/or historically significant public property over a period of years. “Care” can include appropriate changes to the building fabric. Eligible properties include religious, educational, not-for-profit, commercial or government buildings, structures, objects or sites.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church
15 St. Mary’s Place, City or Rochester, Monroe County

Dedicated in 1858, with a bell tower added in 1940, this historic house of worship is the oldest Catholic church in the city of Rochester. The Romanesque Revival style building, with its adjacent rectory and handsomely landscape campus, dominates the west side of Washington Square Park. Over the past several years, the congregation embarked on a $500,000 rehabilitation project to address spire, roof, masonry, structural, drainage, exterior lighting and electrical issues, based on a “Condition Report” prepared by Bero Architecture PLLC.  CSTM Corporation and Spring Sheet Roofing & Metal Company were the general contractors.  Church volunteers completed the landscaping improvements, which included the restoration of the “Our Lady of the Highway” statue.

Historic Home Award

The Historic Home Award is given to owners of private residences for their continued care of and commitment to the preservation of an architecturally significant house over a minimum of seven years.

David and Charlotte Harvey
415 Winona Boulevard, Town of Irondequoit, Monroe County

The challenging restoration of this 1927 French Eclectic style residence, of concrete and stone construction, has been the focus of the Harveys since 1983, when they became only the second owners of this unique property. The distinctive house was designed by architect Edgar Zeigler for John J. O’Connell, founder of O’Connell Electric Company, today, one of the nation’s largest electrical contracting firms.  Many of the repairs have been completed by the Harveys themselves, including the daunting sandblasting/restoration of the steel casement windows located throughout the house. Extensive site improvements and the creation of a new, oak front door to duplicate the original cypress door are recent projects.

Paul Malo Award for Community Preservation Advocacy

The Paul Malo Award for Community Preservation Advocacy is named for the late Paul Malo, award-winning author, architect, historian, and Syracuse University faculty member, whose passionate advocacy for New York’s historic resources extended over a six-decade career. The award recognizes an individual who has been an outstanding advocate for historic preservation in their community.

Joan Schumaker
Village of Nunda, Livingston County

A native of Nunda, Joan Schumaker has been the major advocate for historic preservation initiatives in her hometown for over three decades. Now retired from the State College at Geneseo, she has focused her impressive talents on a wide array of projects, all of which have enhanced Nunda and the Genesee Valley corridor. She purchased and restored the “Nunda Press,” an endangered, landmark commercial building on Main Street, using the Investment Tax Credits for rehabilitation. Programming and exhibit design for the Nunda Historical Society headquarters, and tours/greater visibility for Oakwood Cemetery, Nunda’s Victorian” garden cemetery,” are on-going projects for Joan.  The Genesee Valley Greenway hiking trail has benefited from her service as both a trustee and president.  Current projects include work with the newly formed “Greater Nunda Action Partnership” to promote economic development, community beautification and the completion of a Historic Resources Survey for properties in both the town and village of Nunda.

Blood, Sweat, and Tears Awards (NEW)

New this year, the Blood, Sweat, and Tears Award recognizes owners who have physically engaged in the preservation and restoration of their property through self-education and countless hours of do-it-yourself work. The work need not be compatible, but should be mindful of the Secretary of the Interior’s “Standards for Rehabilitation” and demonstrate substantial, self-performed, long term care. This year we presented two Blood, Sweat, and Tears Awards.

Ellen Olah
36 Vick Park A, City of Rochester, Monroe County

Ellen has completed meticulous, on-going, and hands-on restoration on the late 19th-century Queen Anne/Eclectic home she shares with her husband, Daniel Burnside. Located in the East Avenue Preservation District, this project of many years includes the restoration of original window sash and thorough scraping/prepping/painting of original cedar clapboards. When extra help is needed, Ellen, frequently seen atop project scaffolding, works side-by-side with contractors, learning their craft, and continuing the work long afterwards.

Alicia & Todd Campbell
9016 & 9018 Route 5 & 20, Hamlet of West Bloomfield, Ontario County

After restoring their own, early-19th century house, the Campbells acquired the 1844 insurance office and brick Greek Revival buildings next door.  Extensive repairs to the 1844 cobblestone masonry have been completed by Alicia, who learned historic cobblestone masonry techniques to undertake this painstaking work herself. Restoration of the brick commercial building is underway, with major repairs coordinated by the Campbells.

Special Achievement Award

The Special Achievement Award recognizes accomplishments that have occurred over a lengthy period of time.

Jerry Ludwig
Town of Brighton, Monroe County

Contractor, Home Inspector, Newspaper Columnist, Preservation Commission member and Landmark Society Trustee are among the many varied activities through which Jerry Ludwig has advocated for historic preservation.  A native of Victor, NY, Jerry has had a life-long interest in historic buildings, construction and repair, which he pursued professionally while living in both Virginia and western New York.   Through his highly popular, weekly column in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, he educated thousands about the practical approach to home repairs, while also endorsing sensitive historic preservation practices. Jerry’s enthusiasm for historic preservation has included creative fund-raising through the annual “Cocktails and Carburetors” event, as well as community involvement via his many years as chairperson of the Town of Brighton Historic Preservation Commission.   Jerry continues to participate in and provide expertise to Landmark Society programming, building restoration and fund-raising initiatives – in his always straight-forward, inimitable style!

Barber Conable Award

The Barber Conable Award, the Society’s most prestigious award for historic preservation, recognizes a large-scale rehabilitation of a historic building in our region completed within the past two years. This award was created to honor Congressman Barber Conable of Alexander, Genesee County, whose supported the establishment of the Federal Investment Tax Credit Program for the rehabilitation of historic, income-producing buildings. 

The Little Theatre
240 East Avenue, City of Rochester, Monroe County

This year’s Conable Award recognizes the outstanding restoration of the Little Theatre, the oldest operating art house movie theater in the United States. Listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, this iconic, 1929, Art Deco landmark has been significantly enhanced by a multi-year, $3.5 million project, that included a grant from the Empire State Development Corporation. The challenging project addressed many exterior changes, restored many missing features, and sensitively adapted interior spaces for modern use.  The large theater, with its sumptuous appointments, includes restored tubular wall scones and new seating, upholstered with reproduction fabric that duplicates the original Art Deco design. The re-configured lobby, ticket booth and concession stand provide improved space for patrons.  A new elevator affords accessibility to all three levels of the building. The project was coordinated by Bero Architecture PLLC, with UDN Inc., general contractor.

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2020 Preservation Award Recipients

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