John Wenrich Memorial Library

The John Wenrich Memorial Library at The Landmark Society of Western New York is the only library in the Rochester region dedicated to historic architecture, landscapes, and preservation. The library was founded in 1970 when John Wenrich’s family established a memorial fund on behalf of The Landmark Society.

The Wenrich Library is a non-circulating reference library containing books, periodicals, photographs, slides and drawings, information on preservation techniques, and The Landmark Society’s extensive archives of local architecture.

Located in The Landmark Society’s headquarters (Warner Castle, 5 Castle Park), the library is open by appointment only, usually during regular business hours. We regret that we cannot accommodate drop-in visitors to the Library. To schedule an appointment, please contact Cynthia Howk (585.546.7029 x24), Architectural Research Coordinator at The Landmark Society.

Fees for the use of the Wenrich Memorial Research Library:

  • Use of the library is complimentary for Landmark Society Members.
  • Nonmembers may conduct research at a starting fee of $10 per hour, per person.
  • Research requiring ongoing staff assistance will be charged at a higher rate, based on hourly staff rates and other factors.

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The library includes the following resources:

Books (approximately 1,000): subjects include building types and styles; architectural construction and details; restoration techniques; preservation ordinances; financial, legal and physical aspects of preservation; horticulture and landscaping; local history; and decorative arts. Also, the Friends of Mt. Hope Cemetery collection of books & slides on historic cemeteries.

Periodicals & newsletters: including Old House Journal, Victorian Homes, Old House Interiors, American Bungalow, Traditional Building: Historic Products for Residential Architecture, and others.

Informational Pamphlets: “How To” and news pamphlets from the Preservation League of New York State, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Park Service, etc.

City & Suburban Directories & “Blue Books” of Rochester & Monroe County from the mid-1800s to the present.

Plat Maps of Rochester & Monroe County from the 1870s to the 1930s.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Rochester, 1911-1957.

Historic Resource Surveys: historical & architectural information (style, year built, history, etc.) and photos of individual buildings in Rochester’s historic neighborhoods and Monroe County towns & villages.

Thematic Surveys: Three inventories have been completed on the
following topics: cobblestone buildings of New York state, covered bridges of
the northeastern US, and Erie Canal structures (there are photographic
inventories with maps).

Site specific & architect files: containing information compiled through the years pertaining to buildings, properties, and architects (newspaper clippings, articles, etc.) of Rochester/Monroe County & eight surrounding counties.

Preservation ways and means files: Resources and information on specific preservation & restoration techniques.

Photographs (approximately 20,000) & slides (approx. 10,000): Historic architecture in Rochester, Monroe County and western New York state. Includes exterior views, architectural details, gardens, interiors, and stereo views.