Monday, November 17, 2008

Did The Landmark Society touch your life this year?

This has been a challenging year as economic pressures cause all of us to tighten our belts and make tough choices. All of the reports that I am seeing this year indicate that year-end giving will be down, not a surprise. Here at The Landmark Society, we are hoping that our loyal members and donors will continue to support our mission as the demand for our preservation planning services continues to rise.

Villages, towns, cities, counties and individuals invariably turn to us for help. With fiscal constraint and careful planning we have been able to accomplish much. Here is a brief summary of some of the great work we have done this year with support from our members and donors:

For the past decade, The Landmark Society has been actively engaged in revitalization efforts in the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood. This year, we obtained a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for a program we dubbed “The Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Preservation Initiative.” With these funds, we brought the highly regarded architect, John Bero to an initiative that partners with the neighborhood association to educate homeowners on their specific ‘old-house’ maintenance needs and to provide the funds to implement preservation-minded improvement projects such as porch repair and exterior lighting.

In addition, a grant award from the Preservation League of New York State for $7,500, helped to lay the groundwork for a future rehabilitation of the currently vacant, city-owned building at 556-560 W. Main Street, a strategic corner that is an important gateway to the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood.

We continue to engage in productive discussions with key planners and decision makers regarding the Midtown project, Renaissance Square, Memorial Art Gallery and others currently on the table, and we have brought attention to the tremendous opportunities for the redevelopment of downtown’s historic resources.

The Landmark Society and the Rochester chapter of the American Institute of Architects are partnering through ‘Archipedia’ ( a public survey effort to raise awareness of recent past architecture. This new and proactive initiative focuses on identifying, evaluating and protecting resources of the recent past, encompassing structures and resources built during the years 1930 thru 1970. These structures are ready to be recognized, interpreted and treasured as the newest frontier of our cultural legacy.

In addition, we continue to offer technical expertise, educational and advocacy services to members and the public at large. Outreach includes such programs as Walk the Walk; Encounters with Rochester’s African American Ancestors, Annual Preservation Conference, House and Garden Tour, and our ode to city living and stimulus to economic development, The Inside Downtown Tour.

We intend to continue to serve our nine-county area with energy and success. But we cannot sustain this level of intensity without the help of our loyal donors.

Please choose to give a gift to our 2008 Year-End Appeal,
click here to access our secure website. Gifts to the 2007 appeal have helped us tremendously through this tough time.

Your contribution will help us maintain our essential capabilities and could help us grow to meet the ever increasing need.

Posted by Susan Latoski, director of development, The Landmark Society of Western New York