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Landmark Society's Five To Revive Targets Historical Buildings And Economic Opportunities

The Landmark Society announced significant progress for one of their past projects, the former Eastman Dental Dispensary.
Landmark Society of Western New York
The Landmark Society announced significant progress for one of their past projects, the former Eastman Dental Dispensary.

Every year, the Landmark Society of Western NY hand picks five places in need of some extra attention by the public, as well as possible investors. The goal is not necessarily to have entire buildings rehabilitated and restored before the next announcement, but to raise awareness about buildings and hopefully set them on a path toward preservation.

Caitlin Meives is a preservation planner with the Landmark Society. She says these projects are as much about this historic significance of the properties as creating economic opportunities and healthier communities around them.

For example, Meives says one of their priorities this year is a block of buildings near East Main and North Clinton in the City of Rochester.

"We really want to target that area, as we see Downtown re-surging and Midtown's coming online, Hilton Garden Inn across the street and the Sibley Building down the street. We think this is really the next important block to focus on down town."

Other properties named in their Five to Revive include the Wallensak Optical Company industrial building on Hudson Avenue, and the only remaining cobblestone house in Rochester on Culver Road.

Outside the city, they have committed to raising awareness about the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building in the Village of Little Valley. Also included in their priorities is what's called a thematic listing, in which they try to draw attention to a specific building type rather than an individual building. This year's thematic listing is fraternal meeting halls throughout the region, including the Huron Grange Hall, the Carter Memorial GAR Hall in Nunda, and the former IOOS Hall in Stafford.

Meives says they also have news to report on one of their past properties. She says the Eastman Dental Dispensary from their inaugural 2013 list has made significant progress.

"Home properties and Edgemere Development is working on rehabing that building for senior housing, and our Five to Revive listing was really critical in helping those folks secure $3 million in state funding for that project."

Meives says they're especially proud of that property, but they've made progress with other projects as well. Last year they selected Hillside Cemetery and chapel in Orleans County as a priority property and recently it was awarded a grant for repairs from the Rochester Area Community Foundation.

Veronica Volk is a senior editor and producer for WXXI News.