Utica Landmarks Society Holding Picnic in the Park

The Landmarks Society of Greater Utica’s second Picnic in the Park will be held Saturday, June 2 from 10 a.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Society’s mansions at 1 and 3 Rutger Park, Utica. Day-long activities include guided tours of the mansions, live musical entertainment, face painting, a classical car show on the lawn, an art exhibit featuring local artists, book signings and sales by area authors, and basket raffles.

A food tent will provide wholesome foods, beverages and home made desserts. All Landmarks members will receive complementary ice cream. A “Vendor Village” will feature many area crafters and creators selling their wares.  There is no admission fee. All proceeds will be designated for the Mansions Restoration Fund.

Utica Landmarks Society Honors Preservationists

The Landmarks Society of Greater Utica has honored the recipients of its 2011 Awards of Merit at the society’s annual meeting November 17. A Lifetime Achievement/Distinguished Service Award was presented to Rand Carter, Professor of the History of Art, Hamilton College, for nearly two decades of dedication to the Landmarks Society and the area community in the preservation of historic properties.

The additional honorees are:

David and Regina Bonacci, 251-253 Bleecker St. In 2009, the Bonacci’s purchased a building which most recently contained Gerald’s Men Shop and which dates back to the mid 1800s. It had been on the “endangered buildings” list and was scheduled for demolition for parking in 2007. After extensive renovation, the building now serves as the Bonacci’s loft-style residence, and houses Bonacci Architects headquarters.

St. Joseph’s/St. Patrick’s Church, 702 Columbia St. Constructed in 1873 by German parishioners, the church merged with St. Patrick’s Church in 1968. The parish recently completed a privately funded, $2 million interior and exterior renovation which reflects its commitment to excellence and authenticity in the restoration of sacred spaces and historic buildings.

Manuel and Emmita Avila, l001 Miller St. The Avila’s purchased this stately Queen Anne Colonial Revival house which was on the city’s most endangered buildings list, and have undertaken significant restoration efforts to save it from further deterioration.

Tracy Mills, the The New Uptown Theatre, 2014 Genesee St. Mills purchased Utica’s only full-time movie theater in Utica in 2007. She has since completed the first phases of restoration to maintain the theater’s character-defining features, with plans for upcoming work on the marquee and stage. The theatre has become an anchor destination for the Uptown Entertainment District.

Orin and Kim Domenico, Domenico’s Cafe & The Other Side, 2011 Genesee St. The Domenico family has successfully partnered with their neighbors to create a vibrant and thriving coffee shop and venue for a host of community programs in the Uptown Entertainment District.

Stuart Bannatyne and Vincent Ficchi, Pier’s & Blake, 330 Main St. In 2007, Stuart Bannatyne purchased the Doyle Hardware building, constructed in 1881. hrough a substantial renovation program, the building has been returned to its original character. Thanks to Bannatyne and his business partner Vincent Ficchi, the building is now home of Pier’s & Blake, a cosmopolitan urban pub and gourmet steak house.

Photo: Rand Carter (right) receives the Distinguished Service/Lifetime Achievement Award from the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica President Michael Bosak. Photo provided.

April Fools Tour of Stone Tolan House Museum

A rustic 19th century kitchen complete with an open hearth – and a plate of sushi?

A beautiful 19th century canopied bed, with a chamber pot peeking out from under the bed – next to a pair of flip flops?

On Saturday, April 2, visitors will enjoy a special event tour that has never before been offered in the 40 years that Stone-Tolan House Museum in Brighton (the oldest house in Monroe County) has been open to the public &#8211 an April Fools Tour. The “April Fools” have visited the Stone-Tolan House – and have really messed things up for the museum staff! There are all sorts of things in there that don’t belong – and they need the public’s help to figure it out.

Adults and kids will hunt for things that are out of place in the 200 year old rooms, including the tavern room, kitchen, parlor bedroom, hallway and pantry. Some may be obvious – like the sushi. Others will be a bit more challenging (hint: what is the date on that coin?) You’ll get a sheet to record their discoveries. After your hunt is done, take your completed sheet to the education center in the late 19th century Tolan barn. You’ll score your results, see how many you got right – and discover what you missed. There will be prizes!

The April Fools Tour will be open from 11 am to 3 pm. Admission is $5 per adult. For this event, children up to age 16 are welcome free of charge. The Stone Tolan House Museum is located at 2370 East Avenue, with free parking onsite.

The April Fools Tour will take place on this one day only. After all, we’ll need to get everything back to its appropriate, historically correct settings in time for the spring school tours!

The Stone-Tolan House Museum is owned and operated by The Landmark Society of Western New York. Through this site we encourage visitors to explore the formation of an early 19th century community and the lives of the Stone family, who operated a tavern and farm in the early 19th century. It is the oldest house in Monroe County, with the original wing constructed circa 1792.

The Landmark Society of Western New York, Inc. is one of the oldest and most active preservation organizations in America, serving nine Western New York counties. Now in its 74th year, The Landmark Society continues to protect the unique architectural heritage of our region and promote preservation and planning practices that foster healthy, livable, and sustainable communities. For additional information on preservation issues in the Rochester area and surrounding communities, contact Cindy Boyer or visit www.landmarksociety.org.

Landmarks Society of Greater Utica Recognized

Landmarks Society of Greater Utica President Michael Bosak accepted the John J. and Wilma B. Sinnott 2010 Conservation Award at a brunch held in December at the Hotel Utica. The award, administered by the Utica Zoological Society and presented by the late Mr. and Mrs. Sinnott’s daughters – Allison (of West Winfield) and Deirdre (of New York City) – was established by the Sinnott family nine years ago to recognize organizations and individuals that support the preservation of the Earth’s wildlife and natural resources.

The Landmarks Society was recognized for its extraordinary efforts in preserving community architectural and cultural resources of major importance. The award consists of a plaque and a $500 contribution to further the work of the Landmarks Society.

For more information about The Landmarks Society of Greater Utica, visist them online, call them at 315-732-7376, or e-mail [email protected].

Photo: (l to r): Allison Sinnott- Deirdre Sinnott- Michael Bosak, President of the Landmarks Society and Beth Irons, executive director of the Utica Zoo. Photo provided.

Books: Historic Photos of New York State

Richard Reisem’s new book, Historic Photos of New York State showcases striking black-and-white images that take you on a journey through New York State during the unforgettable landmark epochs of the Civil War, Prohibition, and the Great Depression. Other historic subjects depicted include the 1939 World’s Fair, the age of the industrialists, the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, European immigrants who disembarked at Ellis Island, the Grand Union Hotel at Saratoga Springs, the State Capital at Albany, Niagara Falls, and more.

Among the photographers represented in the Historic Photos of New York State are Matthew Brady, John Collier, Carl Dietz, Arnold Genthe, Lewis Wickes Hine, Listte Model, Arthur Rothstein, Alfred Stiglitz and others. The range of New York experience from 1850 to 1967 is covered in nearly 200 images drawn from around the state.

The author is a former trustee of the Landmark Society of Western New York, and has served on the board of trustees of the Rochester Historical Society. For sixteen years he served on the Rochester Preservation Board and was chair for four years- he spent 31 years at Eastman Kodak.

The book is published by Turner Publishing.

Western New York Historic Preservation Events

Katie Eggers Comeau, Director of Preservation Services for the The Landmark Society of Western New York has posted a nice list of upcoming historic preservation education events at their blog Confessions of a Preservationist. The events are designed for &#8220everyone from homeowners to design professionals.&#8221 I’m reposting the entire list here, but be sure to check out their blog.

This isn’t a full listing of all upcoming Landmark Society events, just those that are geared specifically toward historic preservation education (as opposed to our many tours and other events, which, of course, are also educational!). For other upcoming events, including local and out-of-town tours, be sure to check out the Events section of our website.

April 6, 13, 27, and May 5 and 12: Your Old House workshops &#8211 learn to care for your house by preparing your garden for spring, repairing your windows, taking care of hardwood floors, and more! All sessions start at 6 p.m. at the Stone-Tolan Barn, 2370 East Avenue in Brighton- these sell out early, so register in advance to reserve your spot for one session or the full series.

April 18: Birthday party for Frederick Law Olmsted in Highland Park (Lamberton Conservatory, 180 Reservoir Avenue), at 5:00 p.m. Enjoy cake and punch while learning about Rochester’s remarkable Olmsted legacy.

April 23: Preservation Night at the Opera House &#8211 while not our event (this one is sponsored by the Village of Lancaster Historic Preservation Commission), this looks like a great opportunity to hear about the newly created Preservation Buffalo Niagara, and to learn about the Certified Local Government (CLG) program. The program will be held at the historic Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Avenue, Lancaster.

May is National Preservation Month! This year’s theme is &#8220This Place Matters&#8221 &#8211 a powerful theme, since the historic places we care about do matter, for so many reasons.

May 2: Regional Preservation Conference in Medina, NY: Homeowners, Realtors, elected officials, zoning/planning/preservation board members, community activists, and anyone else with an interest in older buildings and neighborhoods won’t want to miss it! Medina High School, 2 Mustang Drive (off Route 31), Medina.

May, date TBA: Marketing Historic Houses Successfully: This class, a joint effort of the Landmark Society’s Rochestercityliving.com initiative and the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors, educates Realtors about the attributes of older housing stock, helping them to sell these special properties. The class includes two bus tours of city neighborhoods. Registration will be handled by GRAR, with classes taught by Cynthia Howk, Steve Jordan, and Jean France.

June 4: Green Strategies for Historic Buildings: This day-long workshop, presented by the National Preservation Institute, will demonstrate how the environmental goal of “reduce, reuse, recycle” can enhance the capital cost competitiveness of preservation projects. We are really excited to be cosponsoring this event, along with the Preservation League of NYS and AIA New York State. The workshop will be held at the Eisenhart Auditorium of the Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Avenue.