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!



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!

Image courtesy: Radio Social


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.


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.


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.

genvalltennis 046

  • 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).


  • 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.

Lower Falls_Square Instagram

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)



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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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!



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


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


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!


RBC STL Weekend Schedule

Former home of Cherokee Street Brewing / new home of Earthbound Brewing. Photography courtesy of Jason Gray.

The 4th meeting of the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists is almost here! Read up for details on the weekend.

Sleeping Arrangements: If you requested a place to sleep, you’ve already received an email with your assignment and details. If you have not received an email or have additional questions regarding lodging, contact Caitlin at

Hashtags: #rustbelttakeover #rustbeltSTL #showmeSTL

Weekend Contact:  Rust Belt Takeover weekends are fun, action-packed, and informal. If you get distracted with all Saint Louis has to offer and need to catch up with the group, call or text Katy at (412) 535-3533 to find out where everyone is at.

Packing / Prep List: 

  • Register for Sunday’s Renegade Bus Tour (space is limited!)
  • Comfy shoes, rain gear, a flash light or head lamp (or, a cell phone with a flashlight app that we can duct tape to your head)
  • A six pack or growler of your favorite local brew for Saturday’s #beersavesplaces Rust Belt BYOB Craft Beer Competition
  • Clear off some space on that phone for serious IG and Snapchat action
  • Snacks + water

Weekend Map

Orange: Scheduled Events

Blue: Other fun things to check out


Friday Evening / May 19

STL Style House. Photography courtesy of STL Style

We’ll meet at the ST-STYLE Style House at 3159 Cherokee Street at 7p for a brief introduction to the Rust Belt Takeover weekend. Then, we’ll walk over to Earthbound Beer Stock House at 2720 Cherokee Street. Meet up with us whenever you get to town!

7p: Meet at 3159 Cherokee Street

8p-11p: Earthbound Beer Stock House / 2720 Cherokee Street


Saturday Morning / May 20


Cahokia Mounds. Photography courtesy of Don Burmeister and Ira Block


We’ll meet again at STL Style House at 3159 Cherokee Street Saturday morning to caravan out to Cahokia Mounds and the National Buildings Art Center. Be sure to eat a hardy breakfast before you arrive at Cherokee Street. Mike Panzitta is not attending and granola breaks cannot be guaranteed.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation will be joining us at the National Buildings Art Center for lunch and a led discussion on preservation across the Rust Belt.

10a: Leave 3159 Cherokee Street at 10a sharp to head east

10:30a: Cahokia Mounds / Collinsville, IL

Noon: National Buildings Art Center / 2300 Falling Springs Road, Sauget, IL

1p: Lunch + Talk with the National Trust for Historic Preservation / National Buildings Art Center


Saturday Afternoon / May 20

Former site of the Pruitt Igoe Housing Complex. Photography courtesy of David Carson.

It’s time to breakout and explore STL! Local historian Michael Allen will be providing a guided tour of the former grounds of the Pruitt Igoe Housing Complex. We also have provided lots of recommendations for those who would rather break out and see other exciting things Saint Louis has to offer.

3p-5p: Pruitt Igoe Tour with Michael Allen / Meet at the intersection of Cass Avenue and North 25th Street

3p-5p: Choose Your Own Saint Louis Adventure

Do you like free things? Scope out the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, designed by Tadao Ando.

Not into contemporary art? Head to Forest Park to visit SLAM, the St. Louis Art Museum, then roam through the nearby Saint Louis World’s Fair Grounds. Another free option in Forest Park: the St. Louis Zoo.

The top of everyone’s must-see list is the City Museum – perhaps the coolest playground ever built with a bar on the roof. Open Saturday 9a-midnight / $12 admission.

This weekend is the grand opening of the Keiner Plaza at the Arch grounds, part of a project to transform the grounds surrounding the iconic Gateway Arch. Take the opportunity to wander around Laclede’s Landing with a self-guided walking tour.

Would you rather take advantage of Saint Louis lax liquor laws? Then head to the Soulard, the city’s oldest neighborhood, grab a drink, and wander around.

Or do you really want to dive into Saint Louis local brews? Check out the 6th Annual IndiHop, featuring over 50 local beers served inside 25 business at the Grove and Cherokee Street. 1p-7p / $30 tickets can be purchased here.

Whatever you choose, be sure to grab some dinner before heading to Dixie Cream Donut Flour Factory Saturday evening, or plan on grabbing a late dinner before heading back to Cherokee Street.

Saturday Evening / May 20

dixie cream.jpg
Dixie Cream Donut Flour Factory. Photography courtesy of Matthew Dickey.

Who says we can’t party inside a vacant donut flour factory on Saturday? You bring your headlamp or a flashlight, and we’ll bring the donuts

We’ll also be holding the 2nd Annual #beersavesplaces Rust Belt BYOB Craft Brew Competition. Read up on the rules and learn how you can feature your favorite brew – whether it’s beer, cider, or soda – from your hometown (or your new favorite from STL : )

6p-8p: Dixie Cream Donut Flour Factory / 2215 Scott Avenue, St. Louis, MO

After the brew competition, we’ll all head back to Cherokee Street to check out the Lo-Fi Cherokee 2017 Premiere Party, and otherwise explore the night life on Cherokee Street. Tickets for the premiere party are $5 and can be purchased here. If the party isn’t your thing, grab a preservation buddy and take a stroll on Cherokee Street.


Sunday / May 21


Our friends and sponsors at Renegade STL are offering weekend attendees a free Whole Damn City bus tour on Sunday, May 21st!

Thank goodness St. Louis isn’t a normal city, because Renegade doesn’t provide normal bus tours. Explore beyond the neat and tidy parts of the city, and discover the grandeur and the dark underbelly that is St. Louis. Expect a unique entertaining style, with lots of discussion and dialogue. And maybe a few curse words.

Space is limited – register today!

10a-noon: Renegade Whole Damn City Bus Tour

As always, email with any questions. See you all next weekend!

Craft Beer Competition: #beersavesplaces


We all have our favorite craft breweries and at the Rust Belt Takeover in St. Louis on Saturday, May 20, we are going to put them head-to-head.

Here is how it works….

-Bring your favorite local 6-pack or growler to the RBCoYP party!  Your 6-pack is your official entry into the competition, so if you need something to sip on before the competition starts… grab from the share table or bring extra brews.

-The competition begins promptly at 8pm.  Get ready to sample the Rust Belt.

-Enjoy a sample of each beer, cider, or soda brought to the competition. Once you have enjoyed tasting the flavors from around the Rust Belt, you will vote for best label and best taste. Simply put your raffle ticket in the empty cup next to the beer, and consider yourself a part of beer democracy.

-We have something special up our sleeves for the beer winner! So bring your favorite drink and come ready to compete!

Don’t drink beer? Don’t worry!  You can vote for best label!  And if you try to slip a craft soda into the competition, we won’t be mad.  We will be excited to sample one of your state’s delicious products.

*Taste testers will each get a sample of the beverage, not a full can.  Think of this like the biggest beer flight you have ever experienced.

Rust Belt Takeover – Cincinnati, OH

Hello everyone! My name is Pam (or Pamland) and I am the Social Media Maven for the Cincinnati Preservation Collective.

We are a group of designers, historians, property owners, community organizers, and preservationists that came together in the fall of 2013 with a mission to positively and proactively advocate for our historic infrastructure. Cincinnati has many historic districts and structures and nationally-renowned architecture and we feel it is so, so important to stand up for our history and preserve as much of it as we can.

We hold many monthly events including meetups, popups, and photowalks to engage with our communities and raise awareness of our mission and activities. We have also participated in our annual Bockfest Parade (Winning FIRST PLACE in 2014!), street festivals including Cincy Summer Streets, Build the Block, and Second Sunday on Main.

Along with the Cincinnati Preservation Association, we have been in a heavy battle this year to #SaveTheDennison Hotel which is in the Main Street Historic District in Downtown Cincinnati. It has been an exciting and daunting time where we have been learning a lot about the legal process of saving a building that others want to demolish. Some other successes of ours include the Davis Furniture Building in Over-the-Rhine and the Bavarian Brewery in Covington, KY.

We are so excited to announce the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists Takeover of our beloved and historic Cincinnati, OH!


Roughly three days of meetups, exploration, activities, roundtable discussions, picnics, tours, hashtags, rides on our NEW streetcar the Cincinnati Bell Connector, and The Preservationist Pale Ale brewed locally by Taft’s Ale House!

There will be many more updates in the coming weeks regarding sleeping accommodations and how to sign up for specific tours but for now we have created an Eventbrite in order to get an idea of how many visitors to expect! So SIGN UP ASAP!


We couldn’t be more excited to show you our Queen City of the West! So sign up now!


Join Friends | Save Buildings

RBC Buffalo Meetup: Recap!

RBC Buffalo Meetup: Recap!


By Mike Panzitta – Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh

Hey everyone! Did you miss the RBCoYP meetup last month in Buffalo and want to know exactly how many tears you should cry in sorrow? Were you there and you really want to relive the memories? Are you some kind of deep-pocketed philanthropist who is looking for a group of really awesome, fun-having, excited preservationists with a regional organization to fund? Well, come join me and I’ll run down just what we did. July’s meetup brought preservationists from the Rust Belt to New England (and even some Canadians) to Buffalo to live some of the Queen City’s amazing history!


Friday was just great. As people trickled in, the RBC group started by exploring the Curtiss Malting Building, which is currently housing a fantastic art installation. We chatted about future uses of the building before snagging a great picture with Buffalo’s awesome flag!

And we were off! our next stop was at the Pop In, where we had our official kickoff party. Everyone was showing their Buffalove as we caught up with all our preservationist friends, drinking local beer and eating pizza and (of course) buffalo wings.

Julia, Liz, and Andrea showing their Buffalove. (Photo credit Andrea Kern)


Saturday started early at Silo City, which was in my opinion the best part of the weekend. Like, seriously, if you’re in Buffalo and have the opportunity, CHECK OUT SILO CITY!


Silo City is the largest collection of grain elevators on our fair planet of Earth, and it does not disappoint. From the art installations inside the elevators to their connection to the history of Buffalo, they really were amazing. I want to go back just to kayak the canal and see them from the water. Oh, we also (of course) busted out our This Place Matters flags and got a pic:

Saturday continued with some downtime in Larkinville, a really cool section of town with amazing restored and repurposed buildings, some old industrial facilities, and the smallest nano-putt-putt course in the Rust Belt. They have a Preservation- themed hole, so obviously we all played a round (in between beers and taco truck runs).

We then headed downtown, to see some of Buffalo’s most famous buildings. From the Guaranty Building to City Hall, each place had a fantastic story, told to us by our impressively-knowledgeable guides.


Guaranty Ceiling
The ceiling inside the Guaranty Building. Almost as impressive as the building’s exterior. (Photo credit: Andrea Kern)

After a packed Saturday like this, you’d have thought we’d have just gone right to sleep, right? Wrong! We were too excited for that, so we headed to Resurgence Brewing to celebrate our very own Bernice Radle’s 30th birthday!


Though all of us wept Sunday due to our imminent departures, we did find the time to tours the Richardson-Olmsted Complex, which was really something else.

Caitlin, Brad, and Sarah about to enter the Richardson-Olmsted. There were, as you can see, many varying emotions that day. (Photo credit: Sarah Marsom)

The H.H. Richardson-designed buildings and Frederick Olmsted-designed grounds were a gigantic mental health facility built in the late 1800s and are now being restored to use as hotel and conference space. Going through the buildings in their various states of restoration, disrepair, and partial reconstruction really told the story of this fantastic place.

Some people did some stuff after that, but I don’t care about that, since I am a child and I had to head out after the Olmsted Tour.

So that was our Buffalo weekend! We’re really disappointed if you had to miss it, but don’t fret! There are plenty more opportunities to hang out with us! Our next meetup will be in another “Queen City,” Cincinnati, Ohio, in October. So save the date, set your watch, and retune your astrolabes to make sure you get to southwest Ohio for our next meetup. I don’t want to spoil too much, but some of the ingredients so far in our planning stew include preservation-themed beer, streetcar tours, hashtag contests, spaghetti with chili on it (god forbid), manholes, subterranean exploration, bicycles, a continuation of RBC’s love of urban staircases, and (of course) granola. See you there!

DMS (Downtown Main Street) seeking TLC

Rochester has countless historical gems, from the tree-lined streets of the East Avenue Preservation District and its gracious Edwardian mansions to the hip High Falls Neighborhood that used to house the water-powered industry of Rochester’s Erie Canal trade.  Our downtown main street, though, could use some…a lot…of TLC.  Once home to offices, department stores, and the first urban indoor mall in the United States (how could that go wrong?), Main Street, and particularly East Main Street, is a series of a handful of successful businesses and hopefully successful revitalization projects, neighbored by vacant properties and discount stores.

East Main today
East Main Street today

In an effort to draw attention to the few remaining historical structures left untouched by revitalization along the downtown thoroughfare, the YUPs are planning an advocacy event for early August.  Our event will feature a DJ, local beer, a downtown coloring contest, and a slide show featuring historical photos of East Main Street juxtaposed against other successful main street revitalization projects that featured historic preservation (we’re looking at you, Lynchburg, Virginia and Ferndale, Michigan!)  The slideshow will be projected onto the side of the former Neisner Brothers Department Store, a location that was part of a failed demolition effort to build the new  $230 million “Renaissance Center” that was to contain a performing arts center, an urban campus for our local community college, and a central bus terminal.  This site and a few other buildings once marked for demolition are in the very preliminary stages of rehabilitation projects.

In tandem with the YUPs East Main Street event, the Landmark Society is also hard at work pulling together an application for listing this block and several other adjacent buildings on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.