ROC the Rust Belt Takeover!

ROC the Rust Belt Takeover!

It’s almost time for the Rust Belt to take over Rochester! Here’s the weekend’s schedule (subject to minor changes). Registration ends July 1 so don’t delay!

Spend the weekend exploring the Flower City (aka Flour City) with the YUPs! We’ll experience Rochester’s transportation history firsthand, check out the waterfalls in the middle of the city, walk through the country’s oldest municipally-owned cemetery, visit murals by internationally-renowned street artists, and get behind-the-scenes tours of downtown landmarks. We can’t wait to show you why we love the ROC!

REGISTER NOW!

FRIDAY, JULY 14th

7 PM – Welcome to Rochester: Friday night we’re hanging out at Rochester’s newest adaptive reuse project, Radio Social. Named in homage to the radio manufacturer that inhabited the space during WWII, it now boasts a restaurant, bar, and bowling lanes–everything we’ll need to kick-off a great weekend!

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Image courtesy: Radio Social

SATURDAY, JULY 15th

9 AM – Breakfast at the Market: Rochester’s outdoor Public Market has been the place for thousands of people from all walks of life to do their weekend shopping and mingling since 1905 and is increasingly driving reinvestment in the surrounding neighborhood. Chris and Tyler are regular market-goers and will orient you as you explore the 400 stalls and pick up breakfast.

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11 AM – Rochester Must-Sees and Must-Eats: After breakfast we’ll head over to the High Falls neighborhood, home to our famous downtown waterfall. High Falls was the center of much of Rochester’s industrial past and offers one of the best views in the city. You’ll get an orientation to the city from The Landmark Society’s renowned, walking encyclopedia, Cynthia Howk. No one in Rochester knows more about Rochester’s buildings and history.

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From there, we’ll explore some vestiges of Rochester’s rich transportation history. After working up quite the appetite, we’ll stuff our faces at Nick Tahou’s. Located in a former railroad depot, Tahou’s is the home of Rochester’s culinary masterpiece the Garbage Plate and is a must-have on any Rochester visit.

2-4 PM – Breakout Tours

After lunch, choose one of three different tours, each exploring a unique piece of Rochester:

  • Death in a Time of Cholera: Exploring Mount Hope, America’s first Victorian municipal cemetery. We’ll learn about the origins of the 19th century ‘rural cemetery’ movement and Mount Hope’s founding in response to a cholera epidemic. We’ll explore Mount Hope’s unique glacial landscape of high hills and deep valleys, winding eskers and deep kettles. The walk will take us to the final resting places of some notable folks, including Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, where election day visits have become a Rochester tradition.

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  • Wall\Therapy: Rochester has over 100 murals, many of which are thanks to Wall\Therapy which brings artists from around the globe and right here in Rochester to paint murals across the city. Wall\Therapy’s goal is to use public art to spark discussion and inspiration. In the spirit of that goal, we’ll visit a number of the murals and gain some insight from one of Wall\Therapy’s experts on the stories behind the paintings. (NOTE: Sadly, our bike share program won’t be launching until the following week so if you can bring your own bike, that’s great! If not, we’ll have some extras).

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  • Lower Falls – Hydro-power, lost settlements, and bridges that spanned too far: No weekend for preservation nerds would be complete without a behind-the-scenes building tour! Crawl through Rochester’s oldest operating hydroelectric station at the precipice of our tallest waterfall, deep in the river gorge, and beneath a bridge that twice fell into the valley below. Come explore one of Rochester’s most unique buildings and idyllic natural sites.

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4 PM – Free time

6 PM – Dinner with Ms. PacMan: We’ll all meet up again for dinner, drinks and arcade games. Swillburger\\Playhouse, Rochester’s only barcade, is the best place to fuel up (on locally sourced burgers, tots, and milkshakes) and relive your 90s childhood before heading out on the town Saturday night. Also, it’s in an adapted historic church, with interior spaces designed by local furniture company, Staach. (Vegan and vegetarian options available)

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SUNDAY, JULY 16th

9 AM – Breakfast in Times Square: It may not have quite as many lights or tourists as New York City’s Times Square, but Rochester’s has peregrine falcons and will have breakfast waiting for you on Sunday morning. The National Trust for Historic Preservation will host a breakfast discussion after which we’ll tour the building, more formally known as the Genesee Valley Trust Building. An integral piece of Rochester’s skyline since 1929, the building has also been home to two peregrine falcons since 2008. We’ll end the tour under the building’s most iconic feature, the 97 foot tall monumental sculpture of aluminum and stone called, Wings of Progress.

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11 AM – Epic East Side Dog Walk: Shake off the Genny Cream Ale from last night and earn your lunch with a brisk, approximately 5 ½ mile walk through some of the most beautiful and unique neighborhoods and hidden treasures Rochester has to offer. If you have a friendly dog, bring your companion. If not, we will have some on-hand to offer companionship and occasional motivational yipping. We will leave from 341 Barrington Street promptly at 11:00.

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2 PM – Send off BBQ: Grill and chill with your new and old building nerd friends at 341 Barrington Street before exploring Rochester more or heading home (to watch the Game of Thrones season premiere!!).  BYOB.


OTHER NOTES:

Locations: Fear not–we will supply you with a google map of all locations and recommended eats, bars, and coffee shops before the weekend starts. You’ll also be equipped with a hard copy “concierge sheet” that will give you the most important deets.

Transportation: Rochester is a very compact, bikeable city. Because our bikeshare won’t be launched yet, we encourage you to bring your own bikes. We’ll also be rounding up a bunch we can loan you if you choose to go on the Wall\Therapy bike tour. We’ll send a poll out in advance to get a headcount of who needs a bike. Our bus system isn’t the fastest way to get around town but you can check it out here. AAAND we’ll finally be getting Uber and Lyft at the end of June!!

Parking: Rochester utilizes alternate side parking. Apparently this isn’t a thing in other cities??!! Basically, it means you can’t park your car for the weekend and forget about it (unless you’re at a meter downtown). In most neighborhoods, you have a 1-hour window between 6 and 7 PM to move your car to the other side of the street. Pay close attention to the parking signs as they’re admittedly super confusing. In general though, you can always find parking within a block or two of wherever you’re going.

Lodging: If you requested lodging when you registered, after registration closes, you’ll receive an email with your lodging assignment.

Furry, four-legged friends: We’d love to have an army of dogs at Sunday’s Epic East Side Dog Walk! If you have a friendly, well-behaved dog you want to bring along for the weekend, let us know and we’ll put you up at a dog-friendly house. Just be aware that many of the weekend’s activities are not dog-friendly and your pooch may need to be left alone at a stranger’s house for extended periods of time.

REGISTER NOW!!!!!

Once you’ve registered, stay tuned for an email with all this information, a packing list, and a link to let us know which events you’re planning to attend and whether you need a bike. 

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Five Reasons Why…

Five Reasons Why…

(…You should come to the Rochester Rust Belt Takeover)

Waterfalls, park systems, historic stuff, great coffee, quirky shops, plenty of craft beer to go around…

These are just a few reasons we YUPs love Rochester, and we want to share as much as we can with all our fine RBCoYP folks!  SO, here are 5 reasons you want to come spend the weekend with us!

#1 – Have a chance to hang with the coolest dead people around.

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Now, we Rochesterians can be biased in this perspective, but Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass were nothing to sneeze at back in the day. We are so proud to own these names as a part of Rochester history and want you to fall in love with them too. Mt. Hope Cemetery (America’s first municipal Victorian cemetery) is sure to please the eye and spark the imagination of all who enter its gates.

#2 – Bowl in an old radio factory.

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We are going to hang in our newest attraction – Radio Social. Knock a few pins around, sling back some drinks and fine food, and meet up with friends old and new. There is a lot to take in in this former industrial space – come and experience it with us!

#3 – EATS, EATS, EATS!

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You will have a chance to sample plenty of local favorites! Of course, we just NEED you to try out the local staple:  The Garbage Plate! There are so many places around the area to pick up a plate, but you always have to start at the birthplace: Nick Tahou’s!

We also need to treat you to the best burger at Swillburger//Playhouse where not only can you enjoy delicious eats, but you also get to play your favorite childhood arcade games!

#4 – Wall\Therapy

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Wall\Therapy is a non-profit working to inspire and heal our city through beautiful art. The city is a canvas for local and world renowned artists to showcase their work and share it with everyone. If street art is your thing–and even if it isn’t–you’ll find yourself moved and sometimes challenged by all the various samplings of art available to the eye through Wall\Therapy.  

#5 – High Falls

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When a waterfall runs through the middle of your city, it’s going to shape not only its geography, but also its industry and history. Stroll with us through the area that made Rochester the Flour City. Take in amazing views, catch a few ghost signs, and learn about how our city was shaped by the Genesee River.

There are so many more reasons to spend a gorgeous summer weekend in Rochester with the YUPs. Most of all we hope you will come to connect and have a good time, take in history and awesome architecture and live it up Rochester style!

Register here! (to help offest the costs of reserving space at Radio Social on Friday night, we’re asking for a voluntary $10 donation). Thanks and see you there!

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Brews on Tues: A Pint-Sized Pub

Brews on Tues: A Pint-Sized Pub

By Caitlin Meives – Young Urban Preservationists (Rochester, NY)

The neighborhood bar. Is there any place more comforting, more welcoming, more a fixture of the urban lifestyle? It’s a place where you can go for a much-needed decompression drink after a long day at work, a place to lazily while away a hot Sunday afternoon, a place to spend quality time catching up with your best friends.

Rochester’s city neighborhoods have their fair share of neighborhood bars, some longtime, divey fixtures; some more polished and hipster-(or bro) serving. Though I tend to prefer those on the divier end of the spectrum, one of my favorite neighborhood watering holes is shiny and relatively new. And, while it could pass, I’ll confess that it’s not actually in a historic building. The oddball single story structure is actually a reconstruction, an exact replica of the historic building that stood there until a few years ago.

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It’s called, for obvious reasons, the Half Pint Pub. And it’s adorable.

In Rochester, we have to maximize summer outdoor fun times. So it’s important to do all your summer drinking and dining outdoors. Aside from its adorably small size, the Half Pint provides plenty of sidewalk seating for my dogs and me.

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It’s a perfect spot to sit for hours, observing the comings and goings of Park Ave. If you’ve been sucked into Pokemon Go, it also just so happens to be adjacent to a popular Pokestop, so you can sit, drink a beer, and collect a bunch of Pokemon without getting off your butt.

And one of my favorite–albeit gimicky–features of the place is that you can get two half-pints of beer instead of a traditional full pint. Ingenious! But seriously, there’s something appealing about drinking beer out of a half pint mug.

 

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Brews on Tues: Crawling through the Wedge

Brews on Tues: Crawling through the Wedge

 

By Clare Farnung – Young Urban Preservationists (Rochester, NY)

pic1About a month ago you read a little about the Rochester YUPs’ WHERE THE #$@& AM I? Coaster Project. We’ve all been in a building at some point and thought “I wonder what this building used to be?” This is where our coaster project comes in–we research and talk to the owners of bars and restaurants housed in old spaces and create a website that can be accessed by a QR code, which we then print on bar coasters and give to the bar to spark their patrons’ interest in the space and to get people thinking about their city’s history. In May, to celebrate the addition of 4 bars and restaurants to our project we held a bar crawl through the South Wedge neighborhood of Rochester.

We started the crawl at Tap and Mallet, a bar known for its impressive, frequently changing draft list, pub food and a laid back vibe. With 30 draft lines and a cask ale, it’s not hard to find something you’ll enjoy. Built in 1899, the building has a pretty boozy history, it was originally a saloon and at one point it was home to a grocery store. The last few decades it’s gone back to its roots, housing several bars and restaurants.

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Despite, or maybe because of, Rochester’s tendency towards long, cold, snowy winters, Rochesterians live for their outdoor eating areas. And Tap and Mallet’s doesn’t disappoint with tables set up on the sidewalk in the summer and a patio in the back complete with overhanging trees, brick walls, and a mural.

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Our second stop, just down the street, is tucked into the basement of the Historic German House. The German House was built in 1908 by St. Boniface Church, a Catholic church just across the street, to serve as their parish hall. In 1924 they sold it to the United German-American Societies of Rochester, hence the name. The German House is one of those places that’s been around for so long and housed so many things, everyone has been there at some point. Fun fact: Rohrbach Brewing Company, which was mentioned in Rochester’s last Brews on Tues post got its start in the German House. And since 2014, ButaPub has been a part of that almost 100 year history.

pic4On our bar crawl, we were lucky enough to have the owner give us a backstage look at the building, literally. Most of the German House is taken up by the concert hall where the owners are working on uncovering and restoring some of the unique features of the building, including the original tin ceiling. After the tour it was back down to ButaPub’s swanky bar for drinks and a little relaxation before moving on.

After enjoying ButaPub’s lounge, it was just a quick stroll around the corner to Harry G’s, the youngest bar so far to be a part of our WHERE THE #&@% AM I? Project. Most Rochestarians know Harry G’s as a deli, which opened in 2012. When the space next door to them became available the owners decided to expand and opened a bar earlier this year. Harry G’s has some beautiful original brick walls, an emphasis on New York State beers and wine, and an entire deli just next door. If that doesn’t say great neighborhood bar, I don’t know what does.

Our final bar on the crawl, a few doors down from Harry G’s, was Lux Lounge. Lux is THE bar of the neighborhood, it’s a self-proclaimed dive bar that is so Lux it’s honestly hard to explain. In the summers the backyard is full of people and dogs alike and on Wednesdays you might be lucky enough to find your favorite cult classic playing. Your first visit to Lux isn’t complete until you’ve had their cheeseburger shot: a shot each of tequila, tomato juice, and pickle juice. On any night you might walk into craft night, free PB&J night or a DIY bloody mary bar. Lux has been a longtime focal point for us YUPs (serving as the HQ for our first two Bikes, Beer, & Buildings scavenger hunts) so it was only natural that we make them the grand finale to our WHERE THE #&@% AM I? Bar crawl. In the 1980s the building was home to the Snake Sisters Cafe, a lesbian bar, where Lux owner Karrie first happened upon the place and said that someday the space would be hers.

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Although these four bars and restaurants serve different drinks, different food, and have very different atmospheres, the one thing they have in common is their love of their community. The South Wedge neighborhood they all call home is known for being slightly off kilter, a little gritty but dedicated to its inhabitants. And these four establishments are no different. Each of these places want their patrons to be comfortable in their space, to keep coming back until it’s the regular hangout. Whether they know it or not, using these old spaces jumpstarts that comfortable feeling. Walking in, you know a thousand feet have crossed that threshold before you and a thousand more will cross it after you. You’re not surprised to find a healthy selection of local beers on their draft list because these places all resonate with the love they have for their city and neighborhood. Those feelings can’t be mass produced, they can’t be bought. They only come from time and a lot of love. And the YUPs will always raise a glass to that.

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#LoveYourHD: Rochester’s Park Ave.

#LoveYourHD: Rochester’s Park Ave.

By Nick Delahanty – Young Urban Preservationists

Many Rochesterians and visitors spend a great deal of their leisure time and dollars in our city’s historic districts.The diversity of retail, quality housing, and picturesque streetscapes draw people in and, whether they know it or not, they are appreciating and supporting the preservation of these areas. You might even call them closet preservationists (see Caitlin Meives’ TEDx Flour City talk below for more about this). The historic buildings, parks, and public spaces that make up the fabric of our city are critical to a healthy neighborhood. For me though, it’s the pedestrian-centric design and the human scale of our historic districts–created before America became infatuated with the automobile–that are the underpinning for the success of our historic districts.

ParkAve-Rochester-2016_08I live in one of Rochester’s best preserved and most popular neighborhoods, just south of the East Avenue National Register Historic District (also a locally designated City Preservation District). Park Avenue runs along the southern edge of the East Ave. district and is the commercial and social spine of the neighborhood. Radiating from this street of bars and restaurants overflowing onto the sidewalks with dogs and people is a tightly woven grid of small apartment buildings and turn of the century homes. The sidewalks, lined with mature trees and welcoming front porches, boast a diverse, ever-changing cast of characters–from overindulgent college students, to retirees and their noble dogs, to visitors from the suburbs and an ever-growing armada of strollers.

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Although we’re just a few blocks south of Park Ave., those of us in the heart of the Park Ave. neighborhood (a large swathe of thousands of properties) are left out of the district and therefore left out of the NYS Homeowners Tax Credit program. Our section of the neighborhood has been officially eligible for listing since the 1980s but no one has ever taken the initiative to pursue a district. New census data has revealed that Park Ave. (admittedly one of the wealthier neighborhoods in the city) is now in a census tract that qualifies for the NYS tax credit programs. That was the motivation that we, as homeowners who are spending an inordinate amount of income on old house repairs, needed to begin the daunting task of getting a nearly 2000 property district listed.

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With my partner and YUP co-founder, Caitlin, leading the charge, we’ve begun the long process of getting our neighborhood listed as a historic district. We are starting by getting estimates from consultants and reaching out to homeowners (both in the existing East Ave district and the potential Park Ave district) to inform them about tax credits and the National Register listing process. Rochester has so many amazing neighborhoods, and I believe the impetus is on us, the citizens,to be good stewards of the amazing neighborhoods and spaces our city has to offer for future generations.

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Brews on Tues: Keeping it local in the ROC

Brews on Tues: Keeping it local in the ROC

By Sara Jenks – Young Urban Preservationists (YUPs)

In a new office park in the Rochester suburb of Victor, NY, sits one of the world’s largest beverage companies, in fact, the largest wine producer in the world. Historically, the Rochester drink scene has been dominated by its famed ice wines and prize winning rieslings from the rolling hills of the Finger Lakes Region. But like the Rust Belt young preservationists who have come Tuesdays prior and those who will come Tuesdays next, we Rochesterians have decided that we want our booze local, urban, and found in old buildings.

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In 2014 the Young Urban Preservationists of The Landmark Society of Western New York (YUPs, for short) unveiled our WHERE THE #&@% AM I?™ historic pub/bar coaster project. The Rohrbach Brewing Company Beer Hall and Black Button Distilling were in the coaster project’s inaugural class. These two establishments are located on Railroad St. in a factory building built for the Bantleon Brothers’ millwork door company in 1906. Since the door company, this building has housed a telephone warehouse, an auto parts company, and a flea market.

Jason Barret named his distillery Black Button to honor his family’s history of manufacturing buttons that “have closed suits worn by presidents, popes, kings, and businessmen the world over.” Colorblind, Jason grew up thinking every button was black. Black Button was Rochester’s first urban distillery since prohibition, and Rohrbach’s is deemed Rochester’s original craft brewery.

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As the mid 20th century fades into the past, we YUPs can now embrace its architectural fruits. Swiftwater and ROC Brewing Company are modern in their decor and flavor. Located in a former car repair garage across from the Genesee River, Swiftwater stays true to theme with kayaks hanging on the walls. It’s a partcularly gratifying place to drink a beer after a subzero heart-bombing event.

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At ROC Brewing, whether playing shuffleboard or Wednesday night trivia, you can enjoy unique brews like the jalapeno-tinted saison “Sassypants” or my favorite, the citrusy “WHOOPASS” imperial/double IPA. And you can usually catch a pretty fantastic sunset over the downtown skyline, with our lovely Inner Loop project in the foreground (a sunken highway/moat around downtown that’s currently being filled in to re-create a normal urban street…yay for undoing urban renewal!).

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We are looking forward to the development of Split Batch Brewing, a combination coffee shop, craft brewery in one of downtown Rochester’s newest repurposed buildings, The Hive @ 155. Split Batch won the inaugural Retailent Rochester competition last year, offering free rent for a year and start-up assistance. Isn’t it the best when our two favorite activities of historic preservation and drinking local brews can go hand-in-hand?

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YUP 2016: Report from the Flower City

YUP 2016: Report from the Flower City

By Caitlin Meives and Laura Smith, YUP co-founders

Now in our third year, the Young Urban Preservationists (or YUPs!) continue to celebrate all things Rochester, NY. We started off 2016 with a subzero heart bombing event for the former B’nai Israel synagogue. Braving the coldest day of the year with a group of YUPs and school-aged kids from the surrounding neighborhood, we showed some love to this almost 90-year-old building that was abandoned in 2004.

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Before creating the heart bombs, one of our YUPs (who also happens to be a city school teacher) taught the kids about preservation, what’s cool about these vacant old buildings, and what can be done to re-purpose them so that they benefit their neighborhood. It was really touching to see the kids almost instantly grasp these concepts and jump onto our bandwagon.

We also heart bombed a vacant and deteriorating former brewery:

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Since February, we’ve been hard at work expanding The Landmark Society of Western New York’s (our parent organization) WHERE THE #&@% AM I?™ coaster project. WHERE THE #&@% AM I?™ is a project that connects people to places. QR codes on the coasters direct bar patrons to a website that provides before/after photos and a few factoids about the building. As I like to say: It’s not a history lesson; it’s a random amalgamation of titillating tidbits; a series of snippets; a window onto the power of change.

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We’re reaching out to our favorite local bars and restaurants in Rochester to become a part of this network but ultimately we want to expand throughout western New York (and beyond! Interested in joining our network? Contact Caitlin for more information). On May 21st, we’ll be celebrating the recent expansion of our coaster sites with a WHERE THE #&@% AM I?™ bar crawl in the historic South Wedge Neighborhood.

We also continue to build on some recurring events we’ve established over the past few years. In May, we’re holding the next installment of our Old House Hacks, a series of one-off classes on restoring, preserving, and maintaining historic homes. In July, we’ll host our third annual Bikes, Beers & Buildings, a biking scavenger hunt that highlights some hidden gems of our fair city. We’re also working on a number of behind-the-scenes tours and pop-up events to highlight preservation projects and historic buildings that still need some love and attention.

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Find out more about the YUPs and sign up for our enewsletter here.

Follow us on the ‘grams at @youngurbanpres. (#yupROC)

And follow us on Facebook.