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Landmark Society Celebrates 75th Anniversary

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Rochester: Landmark Society Celebrates its 75th Anniversary
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The Landmark Society of Western New York celebrated its 75th anniversary Sunday. The society is continuing its focus on rehabilitating historic resources.

"Out with the old, in with the new" is an adage the Landmark Society sees a little differently.

"Many people think preservation is all about history. It's static. It's stagnant. It's trying to keep these obsolete buildings that can't be used in the future and that's completely a myth,” said Wayne Goodman, Executive Director of the Landmark Society.

The society celebrated 75 years of service and unveiled new project plans like the Clarendon Stone Store.

"Instead of spending $20 or $25,000 to demolish this building, let's find out if we can find a reuse for it. Let's market it," said Goodman.

The Town of Clarendon partnered with the Landmark Society and will sell the store for one dollar to be redeveloped.

"Create a business, create jobs, and save a historic building at the same time," said Goodman.

The Boynton House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, completed its restoration in September. Current projects are following the lead of past successes like the Station 55 lofts near the Public Market.

"People told them that they were totally insane that no one would live there. It's close to an active railroad line, but people did and now there's a waiting list," said Goodman.

"It's the type of building you couldn't build today because of the cost of putting up that brick and mortar building and there's something special when you save these hundred year old structures and bring them back for a second use. It's just phenomenal,” said Drew Costanza, Vice President of Corporate Council.

The idea of preserving the old by bringing new life to an area will continue. Built in 1916, the Holy Rosary Church, school and rectory will be turned into 35 affordable housing apartments by this summer.

The society also launched a new preservation grant that offers start-up funding for historic restorations. The society's theme, "it's about now," is focused on balance.

"If we don't preserve what we have, then what do we have to look on. This city has wonderful history. Great names came here, famous people, famous companies,” said Fran Cosentino, owner of The Boynton House.

Giving old structures, new character.

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