The Landmark Society Announces 2020 Preservation Awards

American Hotel in Lima

The Landmark Society of Western New York recently announced the 2020 Preservation Awards. The awards are given to individuals and organizations in a nine-county area that have made outstanding efforts in the preservation of their homes, public buildings, historic properties, and landscapes.

This year’s Annual Awards Ceremony, will be a live “virtual” event on Sunday, December 6 at 3:00 p.m. and will feature two new awards – The Blood, Sweat and Tears Award and the Small Business Award.  “Through the miracle of zoom technology, this year’s Awards will be presented to individuals and organizations in our nine-county area that have made outstanding efforts in the preservation of their homes, public buildings, historic properties, and landscapes,” said Cynthia Hawk, Architechtural Research Coordinator.  For details and required registration for the Awards Ceremony, go to the Landmark Society’s web site (


Barber Conable Award

The Barber Conable Award recognizes a large-scale rehabilitation of an historic building in our region completed within the past two years. 


The Little Theatre
240 East Avenue, City of Rochester
This year’s Conable Award recognizes the outstanding restoration of the Little Theatre, the oldest operating art house movie theater in the United States. Listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, this iconic, 1929, Art Deco landmark has been significantly enhanced by a multi-year, $3.5 million project,that included a grant from the Empire State Development Corporation. The challenging project addressed many exterior changes, restored many missing features, and sensitively adapted interior spaces for modern use.  The large theater, with its sumptuous appointments, includes restored tubular wall scones and new seating, upholstered with reproduction fabric that duplicates the original Art Deco design. The re-configured lobby, ticket booth and concession stand provide improved space for patrons.  A new elevator affords accessibility to all three levels of the building. The project was coordinated by Bero Architecture PLLC, with UDN Inc., general contractor.


Award of Merit

The Award of Merit is for the sympathetic rehabilitation of an historic building or structure in our 9-county region completed within the past two years.


Sands Family Foundation Theatre, Fort Hill Performing Arts Center
20 Fort Hill Avenue, City of Canandaigua, Ontario County
This award recognizes the handsome rehabilitation of the long-vacant auditorium located in the 1928 annex of the former Canandaigua Academy, which served as the city’s high school for over half a century. While the main academy building was rehabilitated for senior apartments in 1996, the annex remained vacant for another twenty years. Community support, dedicated volunteers and necessary funding were finally in place to launch this project several years ago.  The result is an impressive performing arts center, operated by Fort Hill Performing Arts Center, Inc.  The $4.48 million rehabilitation of the 427-seat auditorium included new seating, modernized stage design, improved lighting and support facilities.  Project designer is Norbert Hauser of NH Architecture, with general contractor Conifer-Chase and Conifer Realty LLC, using the State and Federal historic tax credits for the building rehabilitation.


Stewardship Award

St. Mary’s Catholic Church
15 St. Mary’s Place, City of Rochester 
Dedicated in 1858, with a bell tower added in 1940, this historic house of worship is the oldest Catholic church in the city of Rochester. The Romanesque Revival style building, with its adjacent rectory and handsomely landscape campus dominates the west side of Washington Square park. Over the past several years, the congregation embarked on a $500,000 rehabilitation project to address spire, roof, masonry, structural, drainage, exterior lighting and electrical issues, based on a “Condition Report” prepared by Bero Architecture PLLC.  CSTM Corporation and Spring Sheet Roofing & Metal Company were the general contractors.  Church volunteers completed the landscaping improvements, which included the restoration of the “Our Lady of the Highway” statue.


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.


David and Charlotte Harvey
415 Winona Boulevard
Town of Irondequoit, Monroe County
The challenging restoration of this 1927, French Eclectic style residence, of concrete and stone construction, has been the focus of the Harveys since 1983, when they became only the second owners of this unique property. The distinctive house was designed by architect Edgar Zeigler for John J. O’Connell, founder of O’Connell Electric Company, today, one of the nation’s largest electrical contracting firms.  Many of the repairs have been completed by the Harvey’s themselves, including the daunting sandblasting/restoration of the steel casement windows located throughout the house. Extensive site improvements and the creation of a new, oak front door to duplicate the original cypress door are recent projects.


Paul Malo Award for Community Preservation Advocacy


Joan Schumaker, Village of Nunda, Livingston County
A native of Nunda, Joan Schumaker has been the major advocate for historic preservation initiatives in her hometown for over three decades. Now retired from the State College at Geneseo, she has focused her impressive talents on a wide array of projects, all of which have enhanced Nunda and the Genesee Valley corridor. She purchased and restored the “Nunda Press,” an endangered, landmark commercial building on Main Street, using the Investment Tax Credits for rehabilitation. Programming and exhibit design for the Nunda Historical Society headquarters and tours/greater visibility for Oakwood Cemetery, Nunda’s Victorian” garden cemetery,” are on-going projects for Joan.  The Genesee Valley Greenway hiking trail has benefited from her service as both a trustee and president.  Current projects include work with the newly formed “Greater Nunda Action Partnership” to promote economic development, community beautification and the completion of a Historic Resources Survey for properties in both the town and village of Nunda.


Special Achievement Award

The Special Achievement Award recognizes accomplishments that have occurred over a lengthy period of time.


Jerry Ludwig
Preservation Advocate, Newspaper Columnist, Building Consultant. Rochester, New York
Contractor, Home Inspector, Newspaper Columnist, Preservation Commission member and Landmark Society trustee are among the many varied activities through which Jerry Ludwig has advocated for historic preservation.  A native of Victor, NY, Jerry has had a life-long interest in historic buildings, construction and repair, which he pursued professionally while living in both Virginia and western New York.   Through his highly popular, weekly column in the “Rochester Democrat and Chronicle,” he educated thousands about the practical approach to home repairs, while also endorsing sensitive historic preservation practices. Jerry’s enthusiasm for historic preservation has included creative fund-raising through the annual “Cocktails and Carburetors” event, as well as community involvement via his many years as chairperson of the Town of Brighton Historic Preservation Commission.   Jerry continues to participate in and provide expertise to Landmark Society programming, building restoration and fund-raising initiatives – in his always straight-forward, inimitable style!


Special Citation

A Special Citation provides recognition for projects that do not fit into other categories or recognizes outstanding individual or group accomplishments in the field of historic preservation.


Greg Lawrence
Cobblestone Information Base Project
This challenging project is a digital repository for all known information on approximately 800 cobblestone buildings in New York State, as well as some in other states and Canada.  This unique archive includes over 5,000 images, in a data base created, pro bono, by Greg Lawrence on behalf of the Cobblestone Museum/Gaines, NY and the Landmark Society of Western New York.  Visit to access the database.

Ed Varno
Executive Director Emeritus, Ontario County Historical Society, Canandaigua, NY.
Recently retired after 25 years of service, Ed’s creative and energetic approach to marketing, fund-raising and community advocacy has elevated the success of the Ontario Co. Historical Society, with increased visibility and expanded community engagement during his tenure.

New Bethel CME Zion Church
260 Scio Street, City of Rochester
A major visual landmark in the Marketview Heights neighborhood, this 1880s edifice has been the home of the current congregation since the early 1950s.  Over the past six years, they have pursued the best of historic preservation practices, achieving official City of Rochester landmark designation, developing strategic plans to restore their building,  and consulting with The Landmark Society, Bero Architecture and NY Landmarks Conservancy staff, which includes the receipt of a Landmark Society Preservation Grant to assist with the cost of a “Building Condition Report.”

Daniel & Ethel Chadwick
Glasow House, 160 Morgan Road, town of Chili, Monroe County

Built in 1963 and one of the earliest residential designs of iconic architect James Johnson, this unique home has been carefully maintained, with a high degree of integrity, by the Chadwicks since their purchase of the property in 2006.

Reynolds Family and the American Hotel
7304 East Main Street, Village of Lima, Livingston County

A major landmark at Livingston Co. since the 1860s, the American Hotel celebrates 100 years of Reynolds family ownership in 2020. Listed in the State and National Register of Historic Places, the hotel includes overnight lodging, the original restaurant, with its renowned home-made soups, and spacious third floor living quarters, which has been home to three generations of the Reynolds family.


Blood, Sweat and Tears Award (new)

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. The work need not be compatible but should be mindful of the Secretary of the Interior’s “Standards for Rehabilitation” and demonstrate substantial, self-performed, long-term care.


Ellen Olah, 36 Vick Park B, City of Rochester
For the meticulous, ongoing and hands-on restoration of her late-19th-century Queen Anne/Eclectic home in the East Avenue Preservation District, including restoring original window sash and thoroughly scraping/prepping/painting original cedar clapboards.

Alicia & Todd Campbell, 9016 & 9018 Route 5 & 20, hamlet of W. Bloomfield, Ontario Co.
After restoring their own, early-19th century house, they acquired the 1844 insurance office and brick Greek Revival building next door.  Extensive repairs to the 1844 cobblestone masonry have been completed by Alicia, who learned historic cobblestone masonry techniques to undertake this painstaking work herself. Restoration of the brick commercial building is underway, with major repairs coordinated by the Campbells.


Small Business Award (new)

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.


Swan Family of Restaurants, City of Rochester
Owners of six restaurants in the East Avenue Preservation District, the Swan family has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the care and rehabilitation of these properties, most recently with the substantial renovation of Roux, their French-inspired restaurant, with historically appropriate storefront and interior repairs.

Rocky’s, 190 Jay Street, City of Rochester
Opened in 1949 and run by the Mastrella family, this is the oldest operating Italian restaurant in Rochester.  Located in the Brown’s Square neighborhood, the restaurant offers large portions of traditional Italian food and aims to “make you feel at home,” which countless politicians, luminaries and the general public have done, for over 70 years.


About The Landmark Society: The Landmark Society of Western New York, Inc. is one of the oldest and most active preservation organizations in America, serving nine Western New York counties. Formed in 1937, The Landmark Society continues to protect the unique architectural heritage of our region and promote preservation and planning principles that foster healthy and sustainable communities. For additional information about The Landmark Society, visit The Landmark Society is supported in part by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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