Tag Archives: Monroe County

Cobblestone Quest – Road Tours of NY’s Historic Buildings


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Cobblestone Quest – Road Tours of New York’s Historic Buildings is a great new resource of self-guided tours to visit and learn about cobblestone buildings that were built in Western New York State before the Civil War. Part of our pioneer history, cobblestone buildings are buildings built with stones that can be held in one hand (as opposed to pebbles, or boulders). According to the guide, which was written by Rich and Sue Freeman (Sue also runs one of favorite blogs – New York Outdoors), the word cobblestone comes from the Middle English cob meaning a rounded lump and ston, for small rock.

The Freemans have divided the cobblestone building period into three eras: The Early Period (1825-11835) which features crude irregular designs of stones of vary shapes and color. The Middle Period (1835-1845) is distinguished by the use of smaller stones set in more geometrical patterns. In the final period, designated by the Freemans as the Late Period (1845 to the Civil War), stones of uniform color and shape were used with almost machine-like precision. Although cobblestone building began on farms where the stones were plentiful after the clearing of fields, the building method did eventually move into villages in smaller numbers.

The book is filled with facts about cobblestone construction methods and the Freemans are quick to note that “cobblestone is a construction method, not an architectural style.” Most of the buildings featured in the book are Greek Revival, although some are Federal, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Post Colonial and Victorian style.

Cobblestone Quest features 17 tours through western New York between Syracuse and Buffalo, plus lots of other resources, including cobblestone museums, bed & breakfasts, restaurants, antique shops and galleries, a guide for owners, an index and bibliography, and a more. It’s available from Footprint Press for $19.95.

Rochester: Boats and Boating in the Adirondacks


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The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, NY – known for its superb boat collection – will offer a special program entitled “Boats and Boating in the Adirondacks” this Thursday, May 7, 2009. The illustrated talk by museum Curator Hallie E. Bond, will tell the unique Adirondack story of boats, drawing on the rich collections of artifacts, documents, and historic photographs at the Adirondack Museum.

The presentation will be held in the auditorium of The Harley School at 1981 Clover Street, Rochester, N.Y., and will begin at 7:30 p.m. The program will be offered at no charge to members of the Adirondack Museum; admission will be $5 for non-members. For additional information please call (518) 352-7311, ext. 129 or visit www.adirondackmuseum.org

The Adirondack Museum’s boat collection currently numbers more than 200, a reflection of the importance of waterways for transportation in the region. Seventy-two examples of the guideboat, the watercraft indigenous to the Adirondack
region, are represented.

The Adirondack region has 2,300 lakes and ponds and 1,200 miles of rivers fed by more than 30,000 miles of brooks and streams. Waterways were once not only the preferred paths from place to place, they were often the only way to get about. The guideboat was “the pickup truck” of the Adirondacks.

From birch barks and dugouts to canoes, guideboats, steamboats, and gasoline powered racing boats, Bond will describe regional craft in the context of the people who made and used them.

Hallie E. Bond has been Curator at the Adirondack Museum since 1987. She has written extensively on regional history and material culture including Boats and Boating in the Adirondacks, published by Syracuse University Press in 1995 and “A Paradise for Boys and Girls” Children’s Camps in the Adirondacks, Syracuse University Press, 2005.

Western New York Historic Preservation Events


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Katie Eggers Comeau, Director of Preservation Services for the The Landmark Society of Western New York has posted a nice list of upcoming historic preservation education events at their blog Confessions of a Preservationist. The events are designed for “everyone from homeowners to design professionals.” I’m reposting the entire list here, but be sure to check out their blog.

This isn’t a full listing of all upcoming Landmark Society events, just those that are geared specifically toward historic preservation education (as opposed to our many tours and other events, which, of course, are also educational!). For other upcoming events, including local and out-of-town tours, be sure to check out the Events section of our website.

April 6, 13, 27, and May 5 and 12: Your Old House workshops – learn to care for your house by preparing your garden for spring, repairing your windows, taking care of hardwood floors, and more! All sessions start at 6 p.m. at the Stone-Tolan Barn, 2370 East Avenue in Brighton; these sell out early, so register in advance to reserve your spot for one session or the full series.

April 18: Birthday party for Frederick Law Olmsted in Highland Park (Lamberton Conservatory, 180 Reservoir Avenue), at 5:00 p.m. Enjoy cake and punch while learning about Rochester’s remarkable Olmsted legacy.

April 23: Preservation Night at the Opera House – while not our event (this one is sponsored by the Village of Lancaster Historic Preservation Commission), this looks like a great opportunity to hear about the newly created Preservation Buffalo Niagara, and to learn about the Certified Local Government (CLG) program. The program will be held at the historic Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Avenue, Lancaster.

May is National Preservation Month! This year’s theme is “This Place Matters” – a powerful theme, since the historic places we care about do matter, for so many reasons.

May 2: Regional Preservation Conference in Medina, NY: Homeowners, Realtors, elected officials, zoning/planning/preservation board members, community activists, and anyone else with an interest in older buildings and neighborhoods won’t want to miss it! Medina High School, 2 Mustang Drive (off Route 31), Medina.

May, date TBA: Marketing Historic Houses Successfully: This class, a joint effort of the Landmark Society’s Rochestercityliving.com initiative and the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors, educates Realtors about the attributes of older housing stock, helping them to sell these special properties. The class includes two bus tours of city neighborhoods. Registration will be handled by GRAR, with classes taught by Cynthia Howk, Steve Jordan, and Jean France.

June 4: Green Strategies for Historic Buildings: This day-long workshop, presented by the National Preservation Institute, will demonstrate how the environmental goal of “reduce, reuse, recycle” can enhance the capital cost competitiveness of preservation projects. We are really excited to be cosponsoring this event, along with the Preservation League of NYS and AIA New York State. The workshop will be held at the Eisenhart Auditorium of the Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Avenue.