Good Bones

It’s a special person who can see beauty in the old and decrepit. To see life and vitality in something that was in its prime many years ago. Instead of creating something from new materials, they choose to refurbish and make something that’s old new again. This is now happening throughout the Finger Lakes Region.

The Linden Social Club (page 32) is a cocktail bar on Linden Street in Geneva – a one way tributary among the well-traveled main arteries of the city. The street is becoming known for the niche businesses that are lining it, catering to Millennials and others who are looking for something new, something different. The social club is housed in what was once a paint store, and some of the artifacts from that era – such as paint on the floor that simply wouldn’t come off – are still present as you tour the bar area. That kind of detail just enhances the space. Making use of the “good bones” of the building has helped the club to stand out from others. The owners envisioned a space that mixed the old with the new, and made good design functional.

The National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls is getting a new home (page 24). They are moving across the Cayuga-Seneca Canal to the former Seneca Knitting Mill, which will become The Center for Great Women. The iconic building will give the museum an incredible amount of space to display all of its artifacts. At the present time, the museum, located on Fall Street, consists of one floor of display space. The mill will give them four floors of space. The limestone exterior of the building, combined with the interior original hardwood floors will make for a beautiful rebirth of a once proud piece of architecture. The center has a completion goal of early 2017.

The Star Theatre in Dansville (page 48) is close to celebrating almost 100 years of being in existence. It has gone through numerous face lifts over the years. The marquee and entrance look different from earlier times, but the same excitement of seeing a good movie is still present. In the early 1990s, the current owner and his father restored the seating and equipment. A coat of paint and a new exterior look – complete with paintings of famous actors – made the theatre come alive once again. There’s something to be said for restoring and refurbishing, rather than tearing down and building anew. When there are good bones to work with, it’s worth it.


by Mark Stash,

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