Along with its city-designated landmarks and preservation districts, Rochester has over 65 properties listed in the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Local Register sites include the Little Theatre, the Lehigh Valley Railroad station (now Dinosaur Barbeque), GEVA, the Powers Building, the Rundel Library and the Daisy Flour Mill. Outside of the city, but within Monroe County, there are over 45 National Register-listed properties.
The Registers also recognize 12 historic districts in our area. Most of the city’s preservation districts (except Beach Avenue and South Avenue/Gregory St.) are listed, although the city-designated boundaries don’t always match those of the state/national-designations. Much of the Maplewood neighborhood is listed, along with the Cascade District near Frontier Field and the St. Paul St./North Water Street area. Portions of the Browncroft neighborhood may soon join the list. Outside the city, there are three districts in Monroe County, which are in the villages of Scottsville, Pittsford and Honeoye Falls.
For a full list of National Register properties and districts, see www.nr.nps.gov. You can also see the full text and photographs of all National Register listed sites in New York State. Simply go to the search page of the New York State Historic Preservation Office’s website and follow the instructions.
The Registers are honor rolls for significant historic properties. Unlike locally designated properties and districts, Register-listed properties are largely unprotected, and can actually be demolished. Protection only exists when state and/or federal money and/or permitting is involved in a project. The most common such occurrence is when a Department of Transportation is reconstructing or widening a roadway.
A major benefit for a listed property is that it qualifies for certain funding that is unavailable to an unlisted one. The federal 20% tax credit for rehabilitation applies only to listed buildings, as do New York State’s grant programs for properties owned by municipalities or non-profit organizations.
The George Eastman House.
The highest category of designation is the National Historic Landmark, of which there are fewer than 2500 nationally. We’ve got two here: the homes of George Eastman and Susan B. Anthony. These buildings are designated by the Secretary of the Interior because of their exceptional value or important role in American history. Portions of the Village of Geneseo make up one of the rare NHL districts nationwide.