Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ms. Fix It


There is a remarkable woman living in Rochester who just can’t stand to see things fall apart. She rescues old furniture, useful household items, and even buildings that are in need of repair or rehabilitation and transforms them from trash to treasure. She worked magic at the Ellwanger Estate on Mt. Hope Avenue when she commissioned architects, builders, interior designers, landscapers, and artists to turn it into the Symphony Show House for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in the summer of 2008. She has continued to improve the house and landscape since that successful project.

The Ellwanger Estate, adjacent to the Landmark Society’s historic Ellwanger Garden, now serves as a private residence during the week and a seasonal bed- and -breakfast on the weekends.

It is no surprise then that Rosemary Janofsky, owner of the Ellwanger Estate, decided that the classically inspired garden wall designed by landscape architect Fletcher Steele for Helen Ellwanger in the 1930’s needed her help. She had already spent several thousand dollars on a total repair of the wall’s stucco and tile elements. However, one of the cast- stone coping bands supporting the distinctive masonry urns had since crumbled badly. She called Stoyan Passero, the mason who completed the initial repair, to assess the damage and learned that something had to be done before winter to prevent further damage and to preserve the urn. It should be no surprise that she hired Mr. Passero immediately.

Within days there was a new cast-stone coping band in place with the urn affixed securely to the top of the wall. Considering that this part of the wall is a prominent architectural element at the edge of the Ellwanger Garden, we are grateful that Ms. Janofsky could not bear to see it crumble.

Thank you Rosemary!

Deteriorated coping band that was replaced.

Posted by Beverly Gibson, Horticulturist