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.

Buffa-WHAT? Sneak Preview for July 15, 16 & 17th in Buffalo, NY!

Buffa-WHAT? Sneak Preview for July 15, 16 & 17th in Buffalo, NY!

Buffalo… home of the chicken wing, lake effect snow and the grain elevator. Won’t you come explore the Queen City with us?

Here is a sneak preview of what is happening in Buffalo, NY on July 15, 16 & 17th! Everything is free unless noted, but don’t forget to register for the weekend.

Friday, July 15th. 

Who says we can’t party inside a vacant industrial grain elevator? Join us at 7:30pm at the Agway located at 1100 Niagara Street on Buffalo’s West Side along the infamous buffalo belt line and with epic views of Lake Erie. A tour kicks off at 8:15pm sharp… bring a flashlight! Kegs of local beer and pizza and wings will be provided, too. BYOB is not required but always appreciated.

Saturday, July 16th.

Shouldn’t every morning start with fresh locally made bagels and coffee and a tour of the largest concentration of Grain Elevators in the World? Join us at 9am sharp at Silo City at 87 Childs street. Swannie Jim will be on hand to provide information as we wander in and around these industrial gentle giants!silo city .jpg

Late Morning / Lunch : Join us at 11:30am in front of City Hall for a tour of downtown Buffalo featuring several iconic buildings including the Guaranty Building by Sullivan, the Ellicott Square Building by Ellicott and our stunning art deco City Hall. Lunch will be at Expo (Buy your own), Buffalo’s newest downtown hipster lunch spot.

Our afternoon will be spent in the historic Hydraulics neighborhood OOOing over the last remaining corner of the iconic FLW administrating building, drinking pints of locally made beer at the Hydraulic Hearth and putt-putt-ing on the smallest golf course in the rust belt – Larkin Links! We’re serious, you can hit a ball into a giant heart bomb, a grain elevator and Ellicott’s historic radial street system he made for Buffalo! (716 Swan Street – More on this event soon!)

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Saturday evening is TBD. It will likely be pretty crazy since it is Bernice’s 30th birthday and BYP is hosting…. so… yeah! Rumor is an old basement club or perhaps a rooftop party. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 17th.

Sunday morning will be magical – breakfast on the Olmsted-designed front lawn and a tour of the Richardson Complex!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a huge win for RBCoYP, they rarely do tours these days so it is ultra special. Designed by H.H. Richardson, the old psych ward is now being restored and renovated into a boutique hotel, an architecture museum and more. 9am breakfast / 10am tour – $15 for the tour the day of. 

Brian-Gavigan-Richardson-Olmsted-Complex

After the tour, we will likely wander over to the Albright Knox Art Gallery (world renowned for our Contemporary Art Collection, including Andy Warhol!) and check out Delaware Park, an Olmsted Designed Park and Parkway system!

If you have any energy left, this would be the time to check out Niagara Falls, canalside, central terminal and the other spots that we didn’t cover!

!!!!LOGISTICS!!!!

SLEEPING: If you need a place to crash, email bypteam@gmail.com ASAP or Bernice has kindly opened her vacant lot and back yard next to her house for tents… there is a shower inside the house!

TRAVELING: Expect to drive around to these places… you can also bike pretty easily if you bring your bike. We do have a bike sharing program which will be launching soon but until then, you’d have to bring one or rent. WE DO NOT HAVE UBER OR LYFT.

PACKING LIST: Blanket for breakfast on the lawn, flashlight, a winter jacket (half kidding but it can get cold here!), shoes to adventure in and snacks. Tent if you feel like camping.

See you in one month! #buffalove #rustbelttakeover #buffalony

 

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.

YUP (22 of 28)

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:

YUP (26 of 28)

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.

Plans for Pittsburgh – 2016

Plans for Pittsburgh – 2016

By Chris Driscoll – Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh

2016 is looking to be an exciting year for YPA of Pittsburgh with a number of projects and initiatives both in the pipeline and coming to fruition. First, it’s the City of Pittsburgh’s 200th anniversary, and YPA has been invited by the City to take part in it! We are planning to make YPA’s annual Top 10 Preservation Opportunities of Southwest PA list and release party bigger than ever as one of a number of celebratory events throughout the city this year. The Top Ten is an annual list of threatened sites in Pittsburgh and the greater region that are nominated by the general public and selected by YPA as a good opportunity for preservation and reuse. The list helps form our advocacy and events in the upcoming year (and beyond).

Perhaps more importantly, we’re confident we’ll see one or more of the previous years’ Top 10 sites saved and/or repurposed. With our recent opportunity to hire an Executive Director, Matthew Craig, we’ve had the opportunity to have someone working full-time researching, organizing, and bringing together people from the City to Community Development Groups to investors to figure out sustainable ways to save historic structures. Simultaneously, our board and members have been taking a ground-up approach, using events from bike rides to (everyone’s favorite) heart bombs to get people interested in historic preservation in their neighborhoods and city. We are so excited to be able to fight on both these fronts, and we are being recognized as a legitimate player in the Pittsburgh preservation scene.

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The Old Stone Tavern in West End, a 2015 Top Ten site and one of the oldest buildings in Pittsburgh!

 

We have so many great events and programming planned for 2016. In addition to mainstays like the Top Ten Event and Painting for Preservation, we have two very exciting projects in the works. First, we will be hosting a roundtable event on saving sacred places to discuss ways to address the growing crisis of historic churches finding their way towards a wrecking ball. We are looking for stories of successes, failures, and lessons learned from both Southwest PA and other regions, and we plan to webcast the event, as we know this is not an issue limited to Pittsburgh. If you’re interested in getting in on the conversation, we’d love to talk about it at the summit in April, so grab a YPA member and start the discussion! Second, we are working on a grant to work with local elementary school students to record and edit (with the help of a local historian) a guided tour of one of the neighborhoods in the city. Our goal is to help the kids learn about both neighborhood history and recording and editing, and end up with a podcast that can serve as a template for future tours in other neighborhoods. We’re very excited to have the opportunity to work with elementary- to middle-school students, as we believe anyone of any age can be a young preservationist!

SCA Heartbomb
We heart bombed the Crawford Grill with a group of high schools students through the Student Conservation Association.

 

Lastly, we look forward to hosting everyone in April. We hope that you will enjoy experiencing our city, making some new friends and sharing ideas on how we can all work to preserve our past for the future, and I’m excited to meet you all, especially at the opening kickoff at the Inn on the Mexican War Streets. I’m eager to talk to all the regional preservation groups about the other side of these organizations: administration. I know we’re all excited to talk about buildings and people and neighborhoods and preservation, but we all need to worry about things like financials, grant-writing, and membership engagement, and it’ll be interesting to discuss the similarities and differences in the ways our organizations have approached them.

One reason I’m particularly excited to meet everybody in April is that the majority of our board are not Pittsburgh natives, which I believe speaks highly of the way the city and region resonates with us and the renewed passion for preservation in Pittsburgh. We are excited to inspire even more people in Southwest PA to share our passion and we look forward to learning about the ways you’ve inspired preservationists in your cities. See you soon!

Buffalo’s Young Preservationists… 2016 Projects! 

By Bernice RadleBuffalo’s Young Preservationists

I, along with many millennial-aged Buffalonians who love architecture and history, help to save buildings from the wrecking ball every day under the advocacy group called Buffalo’s Young Preservationists.

We’ve worked to save buildings of all sizes including Trico (where the windshield was invented), Wildroot (largest hair product supplier in 1940), an administrative building for our largest steel company, and many dollar houses that patiently wait for new owners to re-love them. We do things differently – plastering hearts on buildings, creating dynamic campaigns, and pushing for policy changes to enhance preservation of our historic neighborhoods.

What’s on our agenda for this year? Here are just a few buildings we are trying to save. Follow our progress here! 

Wildroot : Thanks to Chrissy and Mark for taking the lead on this, Wildroot was listed this year as “Seven to Save” by the Preservation League of New York State. It’s at risk because the owner died and it’s in estate hell…the vacancy vortex is in full force!! We keep and eye on it by cleaning it up, painting it, and securing it from time to time.

Crosby : Essentially every major applianceof the 20th century had its parts stamped at the Crosby plant. It’s up for demolition now because the owners were not aware of its potential ….but we’ve created a fun campaign and the owners are now looking into stabilization!! We go before the common council next month to fight for it to have local landmark designation!

 North Park Library: A historic library in an area surrounded by parking lots… This is up for demolition because it has been vacant for five years and a developer wants to put a new mixed-use building in its place. The library is really loved by the community! We’ve started a petition which has hundreds of signatures and we go before the common council on April 12th to fight for it to have a local landmark designation!

The Bachelor: Buffalo’s oldest apartment building in downtown, the Bachelor was built for single working men (thus the name the bachelor!) It is in danger because a local developer wants to tear it down for a hotel and parking garage…While restoring another building in the process but removing this one. We go before the common council in April to fight for its local landmark designation.

 Other than that, we will likely do our happy hours, board and seals and other random fun things that we typically do every year!

2016 Takeover! Look Out Ohio!

YOP Icon

 

Since starting in 2014, the Young Ohio Preservationists (YOP) have been exploring opportunities and trying to create a vision for what we want to be and how we want to move the needle of preservation in the Midwest.  We are excited to announce and tease some of what we have planned for 2016!

-Our first scholarship program!  The Young Ohio Preservationists are partnering with Schooley Caldwell Associates to create an Emerging Professionals session at Heritage Ohio’s Annual Conference AND Emerging Professionals Conference Scholarship.  This competition will grant an Ohio resident under 40 the opportunity to present on how they are part of the next wave of preservation! Winners will receive complimentary conference registration, 2-nights at the conference hotel, and $100 travel stipend.  Keep your eyes wide-open for the upcoming official competition announcement.

-Preservation Month will end with our first Architectural Trivia event (May 31)!  In partnership with the Society of Architectural historians, we will live stream Ohio architectural trivia!  The Society of Architectural Historians have been creating a nationwide Archipedia (basically a way nerdier Wikipedia). To align with the launch of Ohio’s Archipedia page, YOP will be hosting a rootin’ tootin’ BYOB trivia night in the German Village Historic District.  In person competitors will have the chance to win prizes, and we will be interacting with online participants throughout the night.

-Mark your calendars for October 7,8, and 9!  The weekend leading up to Heritage Ohio’s annual conference, the Young Ohio Preservationists will host  a regional RBCoYP meet-up in Cincinnati.  Cincinnati had major preservation wins the past few years – the Museum Center, Music Hall, the progress in the Over-the-Rhine historic district, and we cannot wait to share some of Ohio’s treasures with you.

Be a part of the Young Ohio Preservationists and help us become a valuable resource for the next generation of preservationists.   Join our mailing list and reach out if you have any questions or want to get involved!

What’s Happening in 2016: Preserve Greater Indy

What’s Happening in 2016: Preserve Greater Indy

By Raina ReganPreserve Greater Indy

Although we are still less than a year old, Preserve Greater Indy is pushing ahead with many great projects and events for 2016. As our name suggests, Preserve Greater Indy allows our group to reach not just Indianapolis, but historic communities within about an hour’s drive, with events and attendees from as far as Muncie and Bloomington. And although we don’t have “young preservationists” in our name, we model ourselves after other young preservationist groups. Our mission is to connect and engage advocates of preservation in Central Indiana, and we hope to do this through social events, service projects, education programs, and more!

 

A little history on Preserve Greater Indy…

Our official kick-off was May 2015 with #beersavesplaces and a Happy Hour at Indiana City Brewing. Since then, we’ve had happy hours at historic bars, participated in two service events, road tripped to Franklin for the holidays, and most recently, completed a heart bombing campaign in Muncie.

We’ve certainly had growing pains in our first year and have been fortunate to connect with other young preservationists groups through this Coalition to share ideas on how to structure and focus our organization. Our first major item for 2016 is restructuring our organization – we’ve moved from committee work to a board that will plan and implement programs. Our board members will be empowered to plan programs and events that interest them and our Preserve Greater Indy audience.

Being a young organization also means we’re working on regular communication through our social media channels and starting an e-newsletter. We’re just launching our first e-newsletter this week and hope to continue this e-newsletter once a month. We’d love our other young preservationist friends from around the Rust Belt to sign up!

Several programs and events are in the works for 2016. For social events, we hope to host at least one happy hour. We have two instameets in the works to highlight historic architecture. We’re planning a painting for preservation event with the Rivoli Theater, one of our favorite sites in Indianapolis. Lastly, we hope to soon host an “Ask an Architect” social hour that will allow young preservationists to meet with young architects in Indianapolis, providing us an opportunity to collaborate between our fields. We have many more ideas, so keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see what we’re planning!