Each fall, The Landmark Society of Western New York presents awards to projects, people, and organizations who, through their dedication and hard work, have contributed to historic preservation in their nine-county area.
The 2022 Awards were presented in a private ceremony in November. This year’s recipients include:
Award of Merit
The Award of Merit is for the sympathetic rehabilitation of an historic building or structure in our nine-county region completed within the past two years.
Christ Church Rochester
141 East Avenue, City of Rochester, Monroe County
This award recognizes the parish of Christ Church Rochester and the skilled project team that worked to restore this historic, 19th century building. Recent projects completed include stabilization of the south wall of the Parish House, installation of new roof and flashing on the office wing, and creation of the sophisticated, historically inspired, stenciled wall decoration in the sanctuary. The project team includes Bero Architecture, PLLC (project architect), Pike Stained Glass Studios (Tiffany stained glass restoration), CSTM Corporation (roofing contractor), MPSB Studios (architect for interior worship space), and Swiatek Studios (decorative painting). Projects were funded by assistance from the New York State Environmental Fund, as well as the parish’s recently completed Capital Campaign.
St. Bernard’s Park Apartments
2260-2300 Lake Avenue, City of Rochester, Monroe County
The Landmark Society recognizes CB St. Bernard’s, LLC for the exterior rehabilitation of St. Bernard’s Park Apartments. In 2018, the property required substantial investment to restore its historic character, improve tenant quality of life, and energy efficiency. The exterior work, completed in 2021, was part of a $27.98 million project that made use of State and Federal Historic Tax Credits and other funding sources. The challenging 18-month project included the occupied rehabilitation of a six-building complex containing a total of 160 residential units. Exterior work included the complete replacement of original red slate roofing and copper flashings, brick and stone masonry repointing and restoration, historic window restoration, and the installation of large solar arrays on the two flat roofs. The project team included Edgemere Development (consultant), PLAN Architects, Catenary Construction (masonry restoration), Spring Sheetmetal and Roofing (roofing), and Baldwin Real Estate Group (housing management).
Jefferson Wollensak Apartments – Wollensak Building
872 Hudson Avenue, City of Rochester, Monroe County
The Landmark Society recognizes the Urban League of Rochester Economic Development Corporation (ULREDC) for the historic preservation and adaptive reuse of the Wollensak Optical Building. Vacant for more than 15 years, the building significantly deteriorated due to deferred maintenance. The Landmark Society named the property to its 2015 “Five to Revive” list. In 2020, the ULREDC converted the building into 22 affordable apartments as part of the $13.95 million Jefferson Wollensak project, which made use of State and Federal Historic Tax Credits, New York State LIHTC (Low Income Housing Tax Credits), and a variety of other funding sources. The project team included Edgemere Development (developer), Hamilton Stern (contractor), SWBR (project architect), and Home Leasing (building management). Now fully occupied, Wollensak Apartments have helped to provide neighborhood beautification, community revitalization, and sustainability by adapting an iconic landmark and returning it to a useful life.
A Special Citation provides recognition for projects that do not fit into other categories or recognizes an outstanding individual or group accomplishments in the field of historic preservation. This year’s Special Citations were presented to three honorees.
History, Architecture, and Fine Art Educator
City of Rochester, Monroe County
The Landmark Society recognizes Donald Hall for a long and influential career as a history, architecture, and fine art educator. A resident of Rochester since 1968, when he became director of the Strasenburgh Planetarium, Hall has amassed an impressive post-astronomy career, giving hundreds of lectures, both locally and around the country, on topics as diverse as architecture, stars, zinc grave markers, pottery, glass, organs, and hamburgers. He’s also written extensively for magazines such as Antiques Forum and the Journal of American Art Pottery. For nearly two decades, he was a tour guide at Mt. Hope Cemetery, where he combined humor with impressive research, to create a memorable experience for those visiting this nationally significant landmark. Since 2006, proceeds from his classes and lectures have supported the fund he established for historic preservation projects at the Rochester Area Community Foundation.
Newspaper Archivist, FultonHistory.com
City of Fulton, Oswego County
The Landmark Society recognizes Thomas Tryniski for extensive archiving work. Created in 1999, the website www.fultonhistory.com includes digitized copies of over a thousand New York State newspapers, as well as editions from other states and Canada. Tryniski created and manages this website and makes its content available, free of charge, to users around the world. With over fifty million pages of scanned and searchable newsprint, www.fultonhistory.com is one of the largest such websites in the world. This incredible achievement is made even more remarkable by the fact that Tryniski has done most of this work from his living room in Fulton, New York, upgrading his equipment at his own expense.
Gary E. Albright
Paper and Photograph Conservator
Village of Honeoye Falls, Monroe County
The Landmark Society recognizes Gary E. Albright for over forty years of work providing professional, museum-quality conservation services for photographs and artifacts on paper. Albright has conserved and restored photographic and paper-based materials for both institutional and private clients. An internationally respected conservation educator, with a specialty in photography conservation, he is a Fellow of the American Institute of Conservation. Among the diverse array of objects he has treated are the Emancipation Proclamation, Honus Wagner baseball cards, Ansel Adams’ photographs, and working drafts of the Constitution of the United States.
Small Business Award
The Small Business Award recognizes small businesses that occupy historic commercial buildings and have demonstrated their commitment to preservation via the care, repair, and/or long-term operation at these sites.
Blue Rose Victorian Bed & Breakfast
30 Murray Street, Village of Mount Morris, Livingston County
The Landmark Society recognizes David and Michele Shaughnessy for the rehabilitation and stewardship of the historic Blue Rose Bed and Breakfast, a beautifully restored 1894 Queen Anne listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The home, designed by architect William C. Walker of Rochester, New York, for Mrs. Mark D. Hanover, was the first house in Mount Morris to add electricity and is well known for its third-floor ballroom, hosting many Victorian-era parties. Honoring over 125 years of history, this Victorian gem with several interior features intact, was lovingly restored inside and out by owners and innkeepers David and Michele Shaughnessy who began renovations over ten years ago along with beautifully revitalizing its gardens. The Shaughnessys continue efforts to promote, preserve and protect the legacy while offering their pristine home and accommodations for guests to enjoy.
Historic Home Award
The Historic Home Award is given to owners of private residences for their continued care of and commitment to the preservation of an architecturally significant house over a minimum of seven years.
Watrous Peck House – Michael Borgeest
8814 Wesley Road, Town of West Bloomfield, Ontario County
The Landmark Society honors Michael Borgeest for the continued care and preservation of the 1803 Georgian post and beam Watrous Peck House. Since purchasing the house in 2011, Mr. Borgeest has followed the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards in his efforts to preserve and restore the house, which was listed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places in 2017. The most significant project has been the restoration of the historic “buttery” (or pantry). The space, which was turned into a laundry room sometime in the 1970s, was returned to its original use by removing the laundry function, restoring the original horsehair plaster ceiling and plaster wall, reinstalling an original window, and milling and installing period-appropriate wide pine flooring. Other projects have included the removal of a modern half bath, inappropriate windows and wainscoting, aluminum siding, acoustical ceiling tiles, and drywall that concealed an original kitchen fireplace. Over the past 11 years, Michael has conducted research, consulted with experts, and sought out period-appropriate materials. Even more impressive, the impeccably restored home features dozens of his own colorful handmade chairs.
Blood, Sweat, and Tears Award
Recognizes building owners who have physically engaged in the preservation and restoration of their property through self-education and countless hours of do-it-yourself work.
Isaac Shipley House – Paul & Patricia Naliwajek
7470 Lake Ave, Town of Williamson, Wayne County
The Landmark Society recognizes Paul and Patricia Naliwajek, in honor of their ongoing rehabilitation of the 1850 Italianate Isaac Shipley historic farmhouse. This award recognizes owners who have physically engaged in the preservation and restoration of their property through self-education and countless hours of do-it-yourself work. After purchasing the house in 2012, the Naliwajeks embarked on decade-long journey of in-depth research and meticulous rehabilitation, from foundation stabilization to historically appropriate stenciling. Projects have included water damage repair, woodwork restoration, floor refinishing, and historic shutter installation. Beyond their hands-on work, Paul Naliwajek has accumulated an incredible amount of information about the house and its history, which helped inform a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places (currently under review) and a listing on the New York State Register of Historic Places
Abraham Wagener House – David & Katie Tomlinson
5224 Skyline Drive, Town of Jerusalem, Yates County
The Landmark Society recognizes David and Katie Tomlinson, in honor of their ongoing rehabilitation and preservation of the 1833 Greek Revival Abraham Wagener House. This award recognizes owners who have physically engaged in the preservation and restoration of their property through self-education and countless hours of do-it-yourself work. For the past thirty years, the Tomlinsons have devoted every spare moment to the preservation of their home and the breathtaking property on which it stands. Significant projects have included masonry repair, woodwork restoration, floor refinishing, the reconstruction of the side portico, and the restoration of the front entrance hall. The most impressive project is the replacement of the house’s two-story columns, which the Tomlinsons did themselves with the help of friends and family. Through each step in the house’s restoration, the couple has demonstrated patience. They understand and accept that a structure of this age can be stubborn and unyielding, and yet they’ve remained dedicated to it.
Paul Malo Award for HISTORIC Preservation Advocacy
The Paul Malo Award for Historic Preservation Advocacy is named for the late Paul Malo, award-winning author, architect, historian, and Syracuse University faculty member, whose passionate advocacy for New York’s historic resources extended over a six-decade career. The award recognizes an individual who has been an outstanding advocate for historic preservation in their community.
Preservation Advocate & Craftsperson
Village of East Aurora, Erie County
The Landmark Society honors Stacy Grinsfelder with our fourteenth Paul Malo Award, established in 2008 to recognize community activists who have done outstanding work in the field of historic preservation advocacy. Stacy is a dedicated and multi-faceted historic preservation advocate, both in the Western New York region, and nationally. Through her Blake Hill House blog, Stacy has thoroughly documented and shared her successes, failures, self-education, research, and innumerable hours of do-it-yourself work involved in the maintenance and rehabilitation of her historic home in the Village of East Aurora. Through her blog and social media channels, Stacy’s emphasis on “process over perfection” makes historic preservation and stewardship of older homes more approachable and welcoming to a broader community. Stacy’s “True Tales from Old Houses” podcast champions the work of craftspersons and other homeowners in the historic preservation community, and has become one of the most listened to within the preservation field. Stacy has also become a leading advocate and educator on the restoration of wood windows within the old house social media community.
Traditional Trades Award
These awards recognize outstanding individual or group accomplishments in the field of historic preservation as related to the traditional trades.
Carpenter & Contractor
Village of Newark, Wayne County
A second-generation craftsman, David has devoted over four decades of woodworking talent and experience to the restoration of historic buildings in western New York. He began his career in partnership with his carpenter/craftsman father, the late Glenn Young, recipient of the Landmark Society’s 2008 former “Craftsman Award,” now known as the “Traditional Trades Award.” With wide-ranging skill that includes the design and construction of custom furniture, David has completed detailed repairs, as well as the replication and installation of historic woodwork and framing for exteriors, interiors, porches, storefronts, and stained-glass windows on religious, commercial, and residential buildings throughout our region.
Demetrius Dilulio and Rich Tripodi, AMA Blacksmiths
City of Rochester, Monroe County
The Landmark Society recognizes Demetrius Dilulio and Richard Tripodi, co-owners of AMA (Architectural Metal Artistry) Blacksmiths, for their outstanding craftsmanship in architectural metal work. AMA Blacksmiths combines traditional blacksmith techniques and modern fabrication methods to provide railing and decorative furnishings to residential and commercial clients. Demetrius and Rich are accomplished in the detailed repair and restoration of historic ironwork. From hand sketches to fabrication and installation, their artistry and expertise has contributed to projects throughout the greater Rochester region, including past Barber Conable Award winner, The Little Theatre.
Jean France Special Achievement Award
The Special Achievement Award recognizes accomplishments that have occurred over a lengthy period of time.
Arlene Wright Vanderlinde
Long-Time Preservation Advocate
The Landmark Society honors long-time preservation advocate Arlene Wright Vanderlinde with our Jean France Special Achievement Award. For over 50 years, Arlene has been dedicated to the promotion and preservation of historic and architectural resources in the Rochester area, and specifically in the Town of Brighton where she resides. Her career as an interior design consultant on historic and adaptive-reuse projects has had a lasting impact on some of our region’s most significant historic buildings. Arlene served on The Landmark Society Board of Trustees for 24 years, and was president from 1992 to 1994. With the help of Jean France, for whom this award is named, Arlene created the Built Environment Awareness Program, which taught children about our relationship with, and responsibility to, the built environment. Arlene was the first chair of the Brighton Preservation Commission and served on the Commission for 20 years. She was instrumental in the founding of Historic Brighton, a not-for-profit organization created to promote the Town of Brighton’s history and the benefits of preservation. A person with a passion for history, architecture and the built environment, Arlene Wright Vanderlinde has been a tireless advocate for our region’s historic resources.
Park-Meigs Neighborhood Association
The Landmark Society honors John Lembach with our Jean France Special Achievement Award for his outstanding dedication to the promotion and preservation of historic resources in the Rochester area, specifically in the Parks-Meigs neighborhood where he resides. For close to 50 years, he has been instrumental in advocating for or against countless projects that have come before the Board as a representative of the Park-Meigs Neighborhood Association, and as a consultant to other area neighborhood associations. John has been praised for his accuracy, thoroughness, and ability to bring out the salient points to make his case relevant and convincing. He speaks before the City of Rochester Preservation Board with authority, humility, and experience. John has a passion for history, architecture and the built environment, and is a tireless advocate for our City’s historic resources.
Barber Conable Award
The Barber Conable Award, the Society’s most prestigious award for historic preservation, recognizes a large-scale rehabilitation of a historic building in our region completed within the past two years. This award was created to honor Congressman Barber Conable of Alexander, Genesee County, whose supported the establishment of the Federal Investment Tax Credit Program for the rehabilitation of historic, income-producing buildings.
Bent’s Opera House
444 Main Street, Village of Medina, Orleans County
This year’s Conable Award honors Roger Hungerford and Heather Farnsworth for the outstanding rehabilitation of Bent’s Opera House. This ambitious project is the result of a talented team with the preservation expertise necessary to restore a 150-year-old cornerstone property in the Village of Medina. The project team included Talis Equity, Le Chase Construction, Talis Historic Restoration, Kideney Architects, and Preservation Studios. The rehabilitation was completed using Historic Tax Credits for buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building now boasts an impressive first-floor restaurant and private dining space, a second floor boutique hotel with ten uniquely designed rooms, and an elegantly restored opera house on the third floor. With this restoration, the owners of Bent’s Opera House have returned this Erie Canal village landmark to its historic role as a community gathering space and performance venue. Medina natives Roger and Heather have demonstrated a commitment to historic preservation and the long-term economic sustainability of the Village of Medina.
For more information visit the Landmark Society website.
Photos, from above: Christ Church Rochester; Isaac Shipley House; and Bent’s Opera House provided by Landmark Society of Western New York.