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Landmark Society of Genesee County

September 16, 2014 - 5:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County.

Landmark article by Tony Kutter

As far as we can determine, this stately home with Italianate features was built in 1832. It houses five bedrooms and 4 ½ bathrooms within its almost 4400 square feet.

Former owner Lucius Bigelow used house only as summer home. Later it was acquired by John and Eva McNicholl. It was passed on to their son Micheal McNicholl who became a Roman Catholic priest. Upon his retirement, it was offered to the Catholic Church in Corfu, a few houses away. They respectfully declined the offer.  Father McNicholl began restoration on the house. He passed away and members of the family continued his efforts but never completed the vast project.  Sadly, the house remained empty for several years.

Frank Pfalzer, bought the property at auction for $50,000 and completed the restoration. Frank told me he purchased the property on an impulse without his wife seeing it. When his wife looked at the property her comment was this is such a beautiful building we cannot break this up for apartments, which was Frank’s original intention.        

The original siding was most likely wooden clapboards.  The current cedar shakes are well maintained.  Other updates include a new electrical system and a new roof. There was moisture damage in the basement from lack of heat as it sat empty and unheated

The major renovation Frank Pfalzer completed was the kitchen, bathrooms, floors and new carpeting. He purchased a chandelier and lamp fixtures at an antique auction. The stairway and banister are all original to the house.  There are many original windows inside and out. The original roof brackets with dentals grace the exterior.

An additional structure houses a caretaker’s home with a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom which is now used for a garage and storage. In the rear of the property there remains a reflecting pool.

It is assumed that this may have been not just a private residence but a rest home for elderly people who came from the city in the early 1900's for rest and recuperation. During the war years school teachers rented rooms.

When Amy Burns purchased the home, she set out to preserve its architectural charms.   Ms. Burns has enthusiastically taken it upon herself to be the steward of this grand home.   The Landmark Society is so glad that this historic building is under her care.  

September 16, 2014 - 5:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County.

Landmark article by Loren Pflaumer:

When local Oakfield general store owner Charles H Griffin needed a wedding gift for his son and daughter-in-law, he decided to build them a house.  In 1925, he hired an architect from LeRoy named Charles Ivan Cromwell to design the home. Unfortunately, no records could be found as to why he chose this Spanish Eclectic style, so unique for our part of the country.

Charles Griffin passed away before the house was completed in 1928 and his son never moved in. The property became a rental and remained so for 20 years until the next owners, the Messinger’s bought it and lived there until they retired to Florida in the 1990’s. Patricia knew this house well.  She grew up in Oakfield and rode the school bus down North Pearl Street every day.  She was considering buying a house when she saw this one come up for auction in 2003. She didn’t make it to the sale, but fortunately for Patricia, the deal fell through, and the home was up for auction again. This time she went and won the house.  She is only the second homeowner to live in the house.

In the ten years she’s lived here, she has done an amazing amount of work.  The exterior boosts beautiful new windows and a fresh paint job. Stafford Painters were called in to update the home’s color scheme. After a few color combination suggestions, Patricia selected what she calls the most “subtle” colors highlighting the unique geometric decorative tiles as well as complimenting the brick sills, stoop and walkway. The original front door with its offset window panes is classic Spanish style and sports its own shade of blue.

Patricia has not neglected the interior either. In order to make the inside of the home reflect its Spanish style, two doorways were rebuilt as archways to match an existing arched doorway. Dark wood paneling was removed and matching stucco was applied. The existing oak flooring was repaired where damaged and the center stairs were stripped and refinished. Original features were saved and prominently displayed such as the fireplace, lighting and hardware.  The kitchen is new and flows into the dining room seamlessly with continued oak flooring.

Inside and out, the property represents Patty’s style. When I met Patricia and told her of her award nomination, her response to me was “thank you, I really tried to keep the character of the house”.   The grounds are nicely landscaped and she should get an additional nod for best adaptive re-use. If you look closely at this beautiful gazebo, you can see that the roof is nothing more than an overturned satellite dish rescued from the Alabama Hotel.

Patricia is quick to acknowledge the endless help and support she received from her parents.  Her father was always around with his handyman skills and time. Her Mom provided food, lodging and pep talks. She is also credited with painting the garage doors.  Patricia couldn’t be here tonight as she is out of town visiting her grandchildren. It’s a shame we couldn’t honor her in person, as she may be the happiest winner I can remember.  Accepting the Genesee County Landmark Renovation award for Patricia are her parents Alan and Ruth Myers

September 16, 2014 - 5:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County.

Landmark article by Jill Babinski:

Those of us that are familiar with Genesee County are aware that just two years ago, the Batavia Downs sign was replaced with a more modern, energy efficient version. Those who drive by it on occasion on their way to or from a destination would never know that there had been a change. Noting this, the Genesee County Landmark Society has chosen to recognize the Batavia Downs for ensuring that a historic sign, not only keeps up with modernity, but stays the same.

The Batavia Downs has a long history in Genesee County. The Batavia Downs racetrack opened in September 20th, 1940 until 1997. In 1998, it was purchased by Western Regional Off-Track Betting.  After special legislation was passed to allow WROTB to operate a live racing meet, racing returned on July 29th, 2002.

The Batavia Downs’ landmark sign was installed in 1954. This sign was 11 feet by 79 feet. The original steel and neon sign cast its glow on the area until July 9th, 2012. Being made of neon, the original sign was prone to outages and the costs associated with fixing broken lights and powering it were rising. The Batavia Downs needed an option that was more energy efficient.

To meet this need, as well as retain the unique character of the original sign, the Batavia Downs installed an aluminum and LED sign, keeping the original design and size, on July 9th, 2012. This new sign will not rust and 90% less energy is used, ensuring that the sign will be seen by thousands of people for decades.

The old sign was not disposed of, but rather distributed to others. Some of you may recall that community members were able to pick up a letter if they had the means to. Check with your neighbor, they may have a piece of the Batavia Downs in their living room. One letter was donated to the Batavia Historical Society, and another still remains in the Batavia Downs’ warehouse. The Batavia Downs intends on using it at some point when construction is completed.

Next time you drive by the Batavia Downs and glance at the letters, please remember that it is possible to retain history, while at the same time utilize modern technology and materials.

September 16, 2014 - 5:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County.

Landmark article by Dorian Ely:

This Folk Victorian house at 9 Vine Street, Batavia is owned by Joyce and Ben Davis.  The house was built circa 1880.  The current owners acquired the property in 1984.

This is a typical Folk Victorian characterized by the front gable and side wing; a low-pitched, pyramid shaped roof; and a front porch with spindle work and flat, jigsaw-cut trim.  However, in recent history the beauty of the house was hidden.  The Davis’s describe the house as having been “battleship” grey for many years before they were able to get to work on it and bring out the architectural details.

Joyce and Ben looked at many Victorian home paint schemes before settling on the four colors to articulate the individual elements.  Ben, a carpenter by trade, has been doing the work with a couple of helpers.  While the house was essential intact, as Ben has been working around the exterior stripping off the grey paint, he has replaced the old clapboards with new cedar boards and milled and replaced missing decorative elements.

Additionally, Ben has used existing elements in new ways, for instance Ben copied the porch skirting for the sides of the porch steps.  With the new paint, the extensive decorative elements including: spindle work; flat, jigsaw trim; gable gingerbread; lattice work arches; and prominent window caps are more visible.  The house also boasts beautiful leaded glass windows and like many of the older Folk Victorians, it has a bay window.

The house is not the Davis’s home, but rather a property that they rent out.  They are fortunate in that they have had two long-term renters who also care about the house.  Not only do they care for the interior as though it is their own, but Nicole, who lives on the first floor, has beautified the property with period sensitive additions: plantings such as hostas, hanging porch baskets and wicker furniture.

Joyce and Ben describe the house as a work in progress.  Ben’s next project is to copy the decorative details of the front porch railing for the second floor porch surround. 

September 16, 2014 - 5:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Landmark Society of Genesee County.

Landmark Articlem, by Howard Owens:

In the past, when Dr. Ronald Reed has expanded his practice, he's erected gleaming new buildings from the ground up.

But not in Batavia.

Reed Eye Associates has opened its sixth location and Reed selected a location with character and ambiance and a bit of history.

The brick building at 39 Washington Ave., across from Austin Park, was most recently the City Schools administration building, but when originally built in 1903 by Edward Dellinger, it was an elementary school.

Batavia's most prominent architectural firm of the time, Henry Homelius and Son, designed the building.

In remodeling the interior, Reed has kept to an art deco theme with a touch of modernism in keeping with the character of the building.

"I saw the building listed online and went to the site and looked at the building and liked it," Reed said. "I called Tony Mancuso, who had the listing, and he gave me a tour. I thought, 'this building needs a lot of work, but it has some great bones.' "

Refurbishing the building also uncovered a little history. One brickmason left behind a note found in the stairwell that said the best men laid the bricks. Another worker in 1939 put a note in a bottle, which was found in a wall, that said "if you're reading this note, it means by now we're all in hell." 

Then there was letter on YMCA letterhead and postmarked 1913, address to a young Myron Fincher. The apparently mimeographed letter speaks of a young man worthy of attention who exchanged a correspondence with Frank Crane, a Presbyterian minister and newspaper columnist. The letter references the enclosed newspaper column, but the column was not in the envelope.

Fincher was born in 1898 in Corfu and worked on the family farm. His fondness for animals brought him to Cornell University. He became an internationally prominent veterinarian. Early in his career he received the Borden Award from the American Veterinary Medical Association. By the 1960s, he was working overseas in places such as Peru, Uruguay, Brazil, Greece, Nigeria and Italy.

Reed said it was thrilling for these little bits of history to be found in his old building.
Reed's company purchased the property from the school district in 2012 for $500,000 and its 13,452-square-foot building. The renovations cost more than $1.5 million and helped put the property back on the tax roles. Reed Eye received $140,861 in tax incentives through Genesee County Economic Development Center for the project.

The expansion of the practice, which was founded in Bushnell's Basin (Pittsford) in 1978 has come, Reed said, as the practice attracted more and more patients. Each time an office would grow beyond its capacity, rather than expand that location, Reed looked at his patient list and figured out where he had a concentration of patients who were driving some distance to get to his office.

With more and more patients from Genesee County, particularly because of a partnership with Dr. Bill Lapple in Le Roy, Batavia seemed to be the natural choice for a sixth office complex.
Reed said there were simply no suitable sites for the office, which was one reason he considered the old school administration building.

The fact that it's large, with plenty of parking (and room for more), centrally located in the city and across the street from a park, where all advantages.

"The park helps give it a nice bucolic feel," Reed said.

In the redesign, as much of the old building was preserved as possible -- the arches, the worn stairway trampled by thousands of students over the years, and the old woodwork. There's even an old desk from the library that is being restored and will be a centerpiece of the entry hallway.

"I've had an interest for some time in historic preservation," Reed said. "We have a 100 year old house in East Rochester that we've been restoring. This seemed like the right thing to do."
The focus on historic preservation shouldn't imply that the practice isn't state of the art. Reed's optometrists, opthamologists and opticians (and even a facial plastic surgeon) have all new equipment to work with.

Read also believes in supporting the communities he does business in. He hires locally as much as possible, he said. Four key employees already with the Batavia office are longtime Batavia or Le Roy residents.

"When a patient walks in the door, they should recognize the people who work there as members of their community," Reed said. "I want to support the town because if the town supports me, it has to be mutual. We want to keep the dollars local."

August 1, 2014 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, gardens, Landmark Society of Genesee County.

 

Tomorrow, take the opportunity to tour some of the finest gardens and homes in Batavia.

The Landmark Society of Genesee County is once again hosting the annual House and Garden Tour, this time in cooperation with Vibrant Batavia.

The tour runs from noon to 4:30 p.m. and tickets are $20 per person. Proceeds will go to the Batavia Cemetery Association to assist with efforts to restore the Richmond Mausoleum.

Above, Jim and Kathy Owen of 2 Redfield Parkway in a portion of their garden. The first three photos below are from their garden.

David Gann outside his home on East Avenue. David said the credit for the garden's beauty goes entirely to his wife, Marcia. "I'm just the guy who cuts the lawn," he said. Unfortunately, Marcia wasn't home when The Batavian dropped in unannounced for a picture.

The home and yard of Judith Hale, 14 Jackson Ave.

These pictures are of Lou and Millie Moretto's yard, 65 Edgewood Drive. Millie said the yard is entirely Lou's handy work. Note the fairy garden below.

Lucine Kauffman added this reminder in comments:

Tickets will be available the day of the tour (Saturday) at the Batavia Cemetery starting at 11:30 a.m.

Full press release about the event after the jump:

July 10, 2014 - 9:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County.

Press release:

The Landmark Society of Genesee County will hold its 4th Annual House and Garden Tour on Saturday, August 2, 2014, from 12—4:30 p.m.  Each year the Landmark Society donates proceeds from the tour to support a local preservation effort.  This year the proceeds will go to the Batavia Cemetery Association to assist with its efforts to restore the Richmond Mausoleum.  Specifically, the stained glass window in the mausoleum is in need of extensive repairs.  The Historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Avenue will be one of the stops on the tour, and stationed at the mausoleum, Connie Boyd will portray Mary Richmond.

The tour will showcase notable homes and gardens in the City of Batavia.  Vibrant Batavia has collaborated with the Landmark Society to organize and plan the event.  The Sun Catchers Garden Club has pitched in to help staff the cemetery tour stop and decorate the Richmond Mausoleum exterior with flower pots that its members design.  The Youth Bureau Community Garden and the Peace Garden will also be open and staffed with volunteers to provide information and answer questions.

House and Garden Tour Chairperson Marcia Gann’s home will be one of the stops on the tour.  “The Landmark Society is so pleased to have partnered with Vibrant Batavia this year.  Leanna Di Risio has worked with our committee and given us the benefit of her enthusiasm, event planning experience, and contacts in the city.   She’s gone above and beyond by opening her beautiful home for one of the tour stops, too.  We have an interesting mixture of old and new homes; public and private gardens; and both new and established gardens.   We even have a Fairy Garden on the tour this year!”

The private homes on the tour are:

  • RaeAnn Engler and Richard Beatty* (home also open for tour)
    • 123 Summit Street
    • C. 1870 National/Vernacular Style
    • When RaeAnn and Richard moved into 123 Summit in 2000, they gutted the interior down to the old studs. Over the next few years virtually everything was replaced except for the framing and oak wood floors. Remarkably, RaeAnn and Richard are only the second family to live here.  In 2005 they were named Homeowners of the Year by the City of Batavia.  In the gardens they salvaged peonies, tulips, some raspberries, and perennial springtime star flowers.  Over the years a variety of perennials and more raspberries have been added. This year the raised vegetable beds were revamped. 
  • Georgene  and Rocco Della Penna
    • 19 Richmond Avenue
    • C. 1930 Colonial Revival Style
    • “I started buying bulbs and progressed to perennial flowers.  Two of my favorites are Chinese Tree Peony and Lime Light Hydrangea.  I have been gardening for 25 years; it is my favorite past time.  The garden looks the best in June, but we enjoy it throughout the growing season. ”
  • Dave and Marcia Gann* (home open for tour)
    • 268 East Avenue
    • C. 1935 Cape Cod
    • Dave and Marcia have resided in their Cape Cod home with Arts and Crafts influences for 25 years.  The gardens encircling the house were designed and landscaped by Tim Richley and Holly Dougherty.  The gardens feature several varieties of hydrangea.
  • Paula Miller* (home open for tour)
    • 15 Pearl Street
    • C. 1927 Folk Victorian Style
    • Paula has used Small Space Gardening techniques to create an outdoor living and entertaining room.   Her newly planted garden features annuals, perennials, and vegetables arranged around a large backyard patio.
  • Debbie and Mike Barone
    • 3919 West Main Street Road
    • C. 1948  Ranch Style
    • “I love to add unique things to my gardens such as antique pieces.  We supplement the perennial selection with annuals to add further color and appeal.  The arbor covered with climbing clematis serves as the gateway from our sunroom to our peaceful backyard.”
  • Leanna and Dan Di Risio* (home open for tour)
    • 60 Edgewood Drive
    • C. 2012  Craftsman Style
    • “Our simple landscape blooms from spring to fall, and during the summer months we display flower planters to add bursts of color throughout the front and back yard.  We recently installed a back patio to give us additional entertaining space to be enjoyed by family and friends!”
  • Lou and Millie Moretto
    • 65 Edgewood Drive
    • C. 2010 Ranch Style
    • Several specimen plants make Lou’s yard unique.  In only four years, a vacant field has been transformed into a beautiful landscape with the help of Tony and Michele Moretto Slominski (LANDVISION). Lou’s young garden is designed to have something in bloom throughout the season.  Be sure to see the “Fairy Garden.”
  • Rose Mary Christian
    • 29 Williams Street
    • C. 1958 Ranch Style
    • “I have lived here for over twelve years and my flower bed garden just keeps on growing!  My favorite two flowers are from Poland and I will tell you about them when you visit on the tour.”
  • Tim and Lisa Stoddard
    • 20 Ellicott Avenue
    • C. 1880  Queen Anne Style
    • Victorian gardens featuring period plants complement this fairy tale home with a large circular front porch and ornate decorative trim.  The Stoddards are Landmark Society of Genesee County Preservation Award recipients for their historically appropriate, meticulous restoration of this Batavia gem.
  • Kathy Owen and Jim Owen
    • 2 Redfield Parkway
    • C. 1930 Colonial Revival Style
    • A long-established garden hidden from the bustle of Main Street in a park-like setting. This yard features a variety of Hosta plants, an informal perennial garden, and a small pond.
  • Judith Hale
    • 14 Jackson Avenue
    • C. 1951 Cape Cod Style
    • Showcasing a beautiful collection of Hosta plant varieties, Judith’s gardens flow from the front to the back of the property.  Each flower bed is painstakingly cared for.

Refreshments will be served at each tour stop.  

Door prize drawings will be held at the Historic Batavia Cemetery at 4:30.  Completed tour surveys will serve as the door prize entries.  You must be present to win.  Prizes were generously donated by: Delre’s Greenhouse and Garden Center; Floral Fantasies; Harvester 56 Theatre; Pudgie’s Greenhouse; The Landmark Society of Genesee County; and Vibrant Batavia.

Tickets are $20 per person and are available for presale at Harrington’s Produce (Batavia), GOART!, and Valle Jewelers.   Tickets will also be available the day of the tour at the Batavia Cemetery starting at 11:30 a.m.

May 8, 2014 - 10:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County.

Press release:

The Landmark Society of Genesee County announces the winners of the Society's 2014 Fourth Grade Architectural Drawing Contest.

The Awards Ceremony was held Wednesday night (May 7) at the Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia. Fourth-grade students from Elba Central School, Byron-Bergen Central School, and John Kennedy School participated.

This year's award winners are (pictured from left):

-- First Place – Elli Schelemanow from Byron-Bergen.
-- Second Place – Laci Sewar from Elba.
-- Third Place – Logan Pocock from Byron-Bergen.

The first-place winner received $50, a framed certificate, and a signed copy of The Architectural Digest of Genesee County.

The second- and third-place winners received $25, a framed certificated, and a signed copy of The Architectural Digest of Genesee County

Honorable Mention awards from John Kennedy include: Noah Dellcamp, Claire Taylor, Katherine Spiotta, Gavin Konieczny, and Devin Harmon.

Honorable Mention awards from Elba include: CJ Gottler, Adrianna Long, Caden Muehlig, and Selena Franco.

Honorable Mention awards from Byron-Bergen include: Emil Robinson, Meghan Kendall, and Corden Zimmerman.

The contest was coordinated by Stephanie Rudman, Elba Central School art teacher, with assistance from Melissa Coniglio, Byron-Bergen School art teacher. The contest was judged by Lorie Longhany, a former art teacher with Holy Family School in Le Roy, and a local artist specializing in architectural renderings.

Photos by Howard Owens

November 5, 2013 - 9:46am
posted by Billie Owens in events, Landmark Society of Genesee County.
Event Date and Time: 
November 6, 2013 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Preservationist Tim Tielman, executive director of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo, will speak Wednesday, Nov. 6 at the Landmark Society of Genesee County’s fall meeting. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the Gallery Room of the Richmond Memorial Library. The event is free and open to the public.

July 12, 2013 - 4:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, gardens, Landmark Society of Genesee County.

Ten homes in Genesee County will be on this year's annual garden tour sponsored by the Landmark Society, among them for the first time, the home of Jason and Anna Molino on Vernon Street, Batavia.

The Molino's have been slowly improving on the yard since moving into the home a few years ago and Jason said after going on the tour last year, the he thought he and Anna should show off what they've been doing.

The city manager comes from a gardening background, he said. His mother was a gardener. Jason's father immigrated from Italy to Canada with his father, and Jason's grandfather had a landscaping business in Montreal.

The front of the house features one of Jason's favorite plants, hostas, and Anna adds pots and baskets.

"The perennials around the house are low maintenance and give some color," Jason said. "Anna does a lot of the flower baskets and flower pots with annuals so we have color in the front to add just a little bit of spunk to the house."

In the back yard is a garden plot with garlic, potatoes, peppers and cucumbers and dill for canning, as well as some perennial flowers being staged and matured in the plot for eventual transplanting to elsewhere in the yard.

The garden tour is Sunday and starts at noon. After it's over at 4 p.m., there will be a dessert reception at St. James Episcopal Church followed by a talk by landscape designer Tim Richley, of Darien, on “Underused Plants for Western New York.”

The cost is $20. If you don't have a ticket yet, you can get them starting at 11 a.m. at St. James. There will also be door prizes. All proceeds benefit the church's restoration project.

In the top photo are Jason and Anna and their children Sophia, a camera-shy Stella, and baby Charley (held by Jason).

Among the other nine homes on the tour, Jennifer and Richard Dunn's place on State Street, Batavia, above, and below, the garden of Georgia Childs and Paul Freeman on Vine Street, Batavia.

July 9, 2013 - 4:27pm


The Landmark Society of Genesee County presents the House and Garden Tour. This event will take place on Sunday, July 14, from 12 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person and include dessert reception, door prizes and a presentation by landscape designer Tim Richley! Tim has designed landscapes for some of the most beautiful gardens in and around the Batavia and Buffalo areas and will share his expertise with attendees. 

Tickets can be purchased at St. James Episcopal Church 585-343-6802 or at Harrington's Produce (in Batavia) 585-343-0805. Tickets will be available the morning of the tour at St. James Church only, beginning at 11 a.m.

Some of the homes featured on the tour:

  • Jason and Anna Molino’s 1915 Vernon Ave. home has flower and vegetable gardens; their sunroom will be open for viewing.
  • Brenda Fox’s home on Angling Road in East Pembroke has extensive gardens and a pond. Brenda likes to color code her gardens.
  • Diane and Keith Boeheim’s home and gardens on Violet Lane: The house has arts and crafts influences. Diane is a collector of frogs and fairies for her garden and teapots in her home. There is a pergola over the back patio.
  • Jennifer and Richard Dunn, 226 State St.; their 1904 home, which will be open for viewing, is distinguished by its circular staircase tower and curved dormers.
  • Dennis Wood and Jenny Myers on 3323 W. Main Road. This unique home built in 1944 was originally owned by Batavia nurseryman Jerry Wallace. It combines elements of local craftspersons with classic homage to Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Georgia Childs and Paul Freeman’s 1944 home sits on a corner lot. These owners have transformed it into a welcoming and semi-private garden retreat.
  • Debbie and Mike Barone’s 1948 home has an arbor with climbing clematis which is the gateway to their peaceful backyard.
  • Susan Wakefield’s home has winding gardens that create beautiful views and her clever use of planters create balance.
  • Carol and Dick Queal and Sharon and Bob Gray are neighbors on Fargo Road. Bob is also a master gardener. Come and enjoy all these two gardens have to offer.
May 17, 2013 - 7:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County.

Press release:

The Landmark Society of Genesee County announces the winners of the Society’s 2013 4th Grade Architectural Drawing Contest.

The 2013 Awards Ceremony held on May 9 at the Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia. Fourth-grade students from Elba Central School and Byron-Bergen Central School participated. The following awards were given:

First Place -- Mason Singer; Byron Bergen; drawing. He received $50, a framed certificate and a copy of the book "The Architectural Heritage of Genesee County."

Second Place -- Zachary Howard; Elba; watercolor

Third Place -- Lilliana Thompson; Elba; cardboard bas relief

The second- and third-place winners each received $25, a framed certificate, and a copy of "The Architectural Heritage of Genesee County."

Honorable Mentions from Byron-Bergen included: Eden Goft, Jonah Clare, Sara Goodman, Ricky Denson, Joshua Swapceinski, and John Mercovich.

Honorable Mentions from Elba included: Kiah Rosendale, Brynn Walczak, Jessica Andrade, Anthony Zambito, and Madison Meuhlig.

The judges for this year’s contest were Laurie and Felipe Oltramari.  Mrs. Oltramari is employed at the City of Batavia Business Improvement District. Mr. Oltramari is director of planning for Genesee County.  Both are members of the Landmark Society of Genesee County and Mrs. Oltramari has previously served as president of the organization. Stephanie Rudman from Elba Central School coordinated the contest and Melissa Coniglio from Byron-Bergen Central School assisted.

May 7, 2013 - 3:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County.

Press release:

The Landmark Society of Genesee County will hold its annual Preservation Awards Dinner on May 11 at the St. James Episcopal Church 405 E. Main St., Batavia. The dinner will begin at 6 p.m. and the awards presentation will follow (at approximately 7).

Five buildings in Genesee County will be recognized this year.

“The five award winners this year show that preservation is alive and well in Genesee County. Not only are different towns of Genesee County represented, but also different types of styles. Preservation can come in many forms: restoration, adaptive reuse, and rehabilitation, for example. The goal is not only to pay homage to history but to recognize that communities which value preservation will become the healthy and vital communities of tomorrow,” explained Landmark Society President David Gann.

The Landmark Society of Genesee County is a nonprofit, volunteer-operated organization. Since 1965, The Landmark Society has encouraged local communities and individuals to work together to preserve our architectural heritage. Preservation, protection and improvement of the landmarks located throughout Genesee County are the objectives of this organization.

Award Winners:

May 7, 2013 - 3:52pm

Story by Larry Barnes. Photo by Howard Owens.

LANDMARK SOCIETY AWARD PRESENTATION
ST. JAMES ESPISCOPAL CHURCH
405 E. Main St., Batavia
Tower Restoration and Tender Loving Care


The Landmark Society is recognizing the St. James Episcopal Church for its recent efforts to restore this wonderful Batavia landmark.

William Seaver, writing in 1849, stated that for several years, little attention seemed to have been paid to religious matters in Batavia except that religious meetings were occasionally held by “pious” laymen or at irregular intervals by itinerant preachers. One Presbyterian of the time noted that “Mr. Ellicott disregarded the Sabbath and was hostile to religious institutions…it was a common observation that Sabbath-day did not extend westward beyond the Genesee River.”  When a member of a missionary society arrived in Batavia in 1805 to preach, he notified residents of his planned evening lecture, but nobody came. James Brisbane, Batavia’s first postmaster and owner/operator of its first general store, was described by his son, Albert, as a “cold atheist” whose religious skepticism grew with the years.

It was within this context that Episcopal missionaries began visiting Batavia in the period between 1812 and 1815. Services were held in Hickox’s Inn, a tavern located in the county courthouse, Ellicott Hall. By 1815, a sufficient following had developed so that in June 1815 a group of 11 men met for the purpose of incorporating a parish: St. James Parish.

Ground was broken in April of 1816 for a brick church located where Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant now stands at 12 Ellicott St. The congregation struggled financially and it took six years to finish the structure. The construction of this first church was of inferior quality and by 1833 it was apparent that the congregation needed to rebuild. Plans were made to build another building on the same site.

The second Episcopal church, built of stone, was consecrated in September of 1836. In keeping with the most popular architectural style of the period, it was of a Greek Revival design.

Bricks from the first church were saved and used to build a rectory immediately to the west.  More than a century later, when this building was about to be demolished during Urban Renewal, the Landmark Society purchased it and restored the structure, as much as possible, to its original appearance.

Just as the first building was plagued by poor construction, the new church also had its problems. Due to faulty materials or inadequately supported beams, only six years after the church was built, the roof and ceiling had to be completely removed and replaced. (Don’t tell anyone, but a pattern seemed to be emerging.) By 1904, this building was deteriorating fast.  The neighborhood had also changed in undesirable ways. Consequently, a decision was made to build anew once again, but elsewhere this time.

This was the home of Adelaide Richmond Kenny, daughter of Dean Richmond, who lived here after her husband and both her parents had died. By the mid-1800s, as historian Kathleen Kutolowski pointed out, the locus of political, social, and economic power of Batavia’s elite “rested within the walls of St. James Episcopal Church.” Adelaide was among those elite. For example, she eventually served on the boards of seven local manufacturing concerns and owned half of the stock in the Johnson Harvester Co.

Circa 1905, property previously owned by the Tomlinson’s was purchased for a new church, using $15,000 provided by Adelaide Kenny. A barn on the property was sold (and presumably moved elsewhere) and the house was torn down, saving the lumber for future building purposes. Only the fence was left untouched, a fence that still exists.

In 1906, 26-year-old Robert North, a Batavian who had recently graduated from Cornell, was chosen as the architect for the new church. Adelaide Kenny had previously expressed a desire to see a building similar in style to the parish churches in the English countryside. In fact, she had given Robert North, in today’s money, $11,000 to go to England for the purpose of studying church architecture. So, it was pretty clear from the start what the style of the new building was going to be.

Adelaide Kenny, with a gift well in excess of $1 million in today’s money, funded the construction of the church as a memorial to her husband, Dr. William J. C. Kenny.  She provided another sum, nearly as large, which was to be invested with the interest used for general church purposes. The cornerstone for the building was set in place in 1908.

The new building was completed in October 1909. Windows from the stone church were reused in the clerestory. The organ, purchased in 1877, was also moved to the new church. The bell, originally cast here in Batavia on Dingle Alley (later Bank Street), having hung both in the first church and the second, was re-hung in the new building. The massive bell tower has been described as an excellent composite of those English towers that are known for exuding dignity, strength, and a feeling of power — features that stem from such towers originally serving as fortresses.

In "A Cycle of Praise," a 1965 publication about the history of the St. James congregation, the authors describe the building this way: “St. James Episcopal Church in Batavia is a handsomely designed building which utilizes, unifies, and richly combines characteristics from many different English parish churches. It has a unity and rational symmetry that is the result of being designed as a complete unit and immediately constructed in toto. The effect is that of a very conservative 15th Century assemblage of components…Gothic principles of building are employed with reserve…All arches are pointed; buttresses reinforce points separating the bays. The roof is relatively steep.”

Eventually, water began leaking into the building causing damage similar to this. In the mid-1960s, the interior water damage was repaired, some gutters were replaced, exterior stonework was repointed, and waterproofing was applied to the exterior.

In the last few years, it has become apparent that another round of restoration work is necessary. Most notably, the mortar used in the repointing of stonework in the 1960s was an inappropriate material and stonework began falling from the tower. (If there were still people alive who had lived through the history of the first two churches, they would probably be saying, “It’s deja vu all over again!”)

There was some discussion about whether the tower should be razed and the building scaled back. But that soon ended and restoration became the goal. Fund-raising began in 2009. A capital campaign among congregants has resulted in pledges totaling $370,000. Another $40,000 has been raised through bicycle rallies, garden tours, a calendar sale, and other such efforts. A total of $109,200 has been received in the form of grants from the New York Landmark Conservancy Sacred Sites Fund, Pepsi-Cola, and the Rochester Community Foundation.

Especially worthy of observation is the fund-raising work undertaken by Laurie Oltramari who, although not a member of the congregation, has devoted a huge amount of time and energy to the effort stemming from her dedication to historic preservation in our community. I understand that Marcia Gann, Jon McManis, Dave Lange, and Father Metcalfe have also played a prominent role in the fund-raising and subsequent restoration work.

In 2011, work began on the stonework of the tower. The focus was on the top 20 feet of the 86-foot structure.

To enable work to continue through the winter, the scaffolding was wrapped. Note the “ribbon” that graced the wrapping at Christmas time.

In addition to the tower stonework repairs, the stained glass window in the tower was also repaired. Glass was re-leaded and cleaned, broken glass was mended, and damaged masonry around the window was fixed.

This work is only the beginning, of course. The road ahead is a long one. But, a good start has been made. The next work will most likely involve refinishing the exterior doors.

And there is more stonework to be repaired.

Those of us in the Landmark Society who have been involved in similar restoration projects especially appreciate what has been achieved so far. It is an honor to award St. James Episcopal Church with this Certificate of Recognition.

May 7, 2013 - 3:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Landmark Society of Genesee County, preservation.

Story by David Gann. Photos by Howard Owens

Landmark Society Preservation Awards
Edgar Praus
15 Church St., LeRoy
Exterior Restoration


In this presentation, I’m referencing and borrowing from the nomination prepared by Cynthia Howk of the Western New York Landmark Society for the house to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The house, now owned by our award winner, Edgar Praus, was known as the “Tryon House” and dates to 1867. It was described in its application for placement on the National Register of Historic Places as, “a distinctive vernacular example of mid-nineteenth century Italianate residential architecture...

“The large house was built for Augustus S. Tyron, a businessman and farmer who settled in Le Roy after returning east from his adventures in California during the Gold Rush."

The design of the house was one of many styles promoted in the mid-19th Century by authors such as Andrew Jackson Downing, who were instrumental in setting the tastes and fashions for buildings in communities in the United States. In 1881, Tryon sold the house to Charles Prentice. The house, located on the east side of the Oatka Creek was in close proximity to Prentice’s mill located on the west side of the creek.

Prentice had only a short commute from his new home on the east side the creek to his mill on the west side because a suspension foot bridge which spanned the creek from the area of a barn on the 15 Church St. property to his mill on the west side of the creek. Prentice’s mill produced flour and he later ”…expanded the milling operations to produce feed, meal, buckwheat and then adapted the building to produce electric power."

The mill…”was demolished in 1923 and the U.S. Post Office was built on the property.”  

Prentice, in addition, to his other businesses went on to organize the Le Roy Salt Company, which became one of the largest salt producers in the country. Prentice also served as president of the bank of Le Roy and a trustee of Ingham University. He died in 1917 at age 87. Prentice’s wife lived on in the house until 1928. The house was subsequently sold to the Powers family who resided in the house until 1979. In a 1929-30 renovation, the house was divided into four apartments.

Our award recipient, Edgar Praus, has owned the home since 1993 and in addition to restoring the exterior so wonderfully, he is working on restoring the interior as well, which despite the division into apartments remains “highly intact.” The house was white with green shutters when Mr. Praus bought it. 

The “…house had clapboard and flush board siding over an asymmetrical plan. The main, two and one-half story section had a set-back, southern L-section and a two-story west (rear) wing.  Downing, the author who inspired the design “…believed that porches were important to residences…” The original owner, Mr. Tryon ”…had a porch built across the main block of the façade and Prentice extended it across the entire east elevation. The new, expanded version featured decorative brackets, railings with elaborate turned balusters, and large-scale, square, chamfered columns that are particularly distinctive...”

The front porch and the north porch were extensively restored by our award winner in 2007.  “New cedar porch decks and decorative lattice-work screens below the porch decks were installed on both porches. Many of the original porch balusters had been previously removed and replaced in-kind, based on the surviving fabric. Three new square, chamfered porch columns replaced deteriorated columns during the restoration."

The windows on the house are "...symmetrical and regular. Windows feature six-over-six double-hung wood sash on all four elevations. … The windows include longer, floor-length openings on the façade (east) and south elevations (in the south window bay). The windows on all elevations feature shouldered, decorative trim. The 19th Century window lintels and decorative bracket on the south, east (front) and north windows remain, where originally installed. Nineteenth-century louvered wood shutters remain with the second-story windows on the front (east) elevations. While evidence of window shutters remains with many of the other exterior windows, the original shutters and hardware on these windows were removed by previous owners.” Since the house did not have storm windows, our award winner had wooden storm windows made.

Note the low-pitched overhanging roof with decorative eaves brackets on the house and porch, Note the arched double-wood entry door. Note the “tall, narrow windows with eared moldings on the first-floor façade, projecting lintels with small decorative brackets over six-over- six windows.” Note the original limestone stairs to the porch.

The south side of the house features a projecting three-bay first-floor window with a small second-floor porch above. The first-floor window bay ”features three, floor-length, windows with six-over-six sash on the first story…”  The decorative balcony on the second floor features…”original turned posts, railings, and spindled frieze…The turned balusters on the second story are identical in design to the balusters on the front (east) porch.” The second-floor porch is accessible by opening the window. 

The barn and suspension bridge just north of the house no longer exist.  But just south of the surviving limestone foundation to the barn, there survives a vertical limestone retaining wall with two large iron “I-bolts” and attached iron rings which supported the 19th Century suspension bridge.

While our award is for the exterior, we stole a peak of one of the remarkable fireplaces inside, in the south parlor. “The north and south parlors feature original white marble mantels and marble hearths. Each mantel is decorated by a central, marble bracket or cartouche. The mantels include shallow round-arch fireplace openings with cast iron inserts. The fireplaces appear to have been fueled by gas, rather than wood or coal. The fireplace in the south parlor also includes its original cast iron fender and is still attached to a gas supply pipe...”

May 7, 2013 - 3:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Landmark Society of Genesee County, preservation.

By Lucine Kauffman. Photo by Howard Owens.

Landmark Preservation Award
Michele & Robert Bialy
312 E. Main St., Batavia
Outstanding Exterior Paint Treatment

   
Michele and Robert Bialy purchased this 1856 Italianate-style home in 2009. Native Western New Yorkers, they had been living out of state when their jobs brought them back to this area.  They settled on Batavia, because it is half way between Buffalo and Rochester.

A slate walkway leads up to the front porch. The Bialys found a sandstone slab underneath the porch and set it in front of the porch steps. 

Robert rebuilt the porch railings before embarking on his painting project. 

And they stripped the paint off of the front door. The double-leaf door with an arched surround is especially decorative.

The Bialys picked a four-color scheme for their grand house and Robert did all of the painting himself:

  • Navy for the front porch floor and window shutters;
  • Pale yellow for the body of the house. The clapboards are set flush on the front of the house;
  • Gold and white to accentuate the architectural details such as the oversized paired brackets with pendants that appear to support the deep eaves of the hipped roof;
  • Corinthian capped fluted columns and pilasters;
  • The windows are topped by jigsaw-cut ornament and small bracketed hoods.
  • They pulled out some ragged holly bushes and finished up the exterior with new landscaping. At present, the Bialys are working on the interior.

It is with great pleasure that the Landmark Society of Genesee County presents Robert and Michele Bialy with an award the outstanding exterior paint treatment they have given their home; this historic, elegant Italianate-style house. Their efforts have made a significant impact on Main Street in the heart of the City of Batavia.

May 7, 2013 - 3:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Landmark Society of Genesee County.

Story by Diana Kasten. Photos by Howard Owens.

Landmark Society of Genesee County Award
HENRY JOHN KISIEL
9091 Creek Road, Town of Batavia
Tender Loving Care

You can probably count, on one hand, the number of octogenarian Word War II veterans in Genesee County, who not only designed but also still reside in the same home they built during the post-war era. At least one of them would be Henry John Kisiel of Creek Road in the Town of Batavia. 

Mr. Kisiel’s Mid-century Modern home is an architectural gem exhibiting many of the elements of the ranch or rambler houses that were from 1946 into the 1960s.

Henry served in the Navy during World War II in the Pacific on the aircraft carrier USS Cape Esperance. He returned from the war to his beloved Batavia and married his sweetheart Lois Ruth Quartley. 

As newlyweds living on Washington Avenue in Batavia, they began their family in a tiny second-floor apartment. 

In the early 1950s, Henry and Lois began to dream about building their own home. Henry purchased a lot on Creek Road from his cousin, which was originally part of their grandparents’ farm. 

He then began to draft the plans for his dream home. 

Henry and Lois wanted a modern ranch or rambler with everything on their wish list. 

During this mid-20th-Century period of American architecture, ranches and ramblers were popping up all over the country. There were many prototypes to choose from, so Henry took some ideas from the ranches he had seen and incorporated some of his own innovative design elements.

Building a home as newlyweds was not such an easy feat, especially for a young couple with no credit or savings, but what they did have was a desire and determination to work hard and make their dream a reality. 

It took more than three years to build the home to their specifications. Henry enlisted the help of his family and friends. However, he needed to convince people in the business and financial community to take a chance on him. People could see he was an eager and hard-working young man who had served his country in war and safely returned to make a home for his wife and their new family.

The first thing he had to do was get the forms built for the foundation and basement of the house and pour the concrete. He went to the bank and asked to borrow some money to begin the project. The bank was only willing to let him borrow $2,500 at the time. He needed concrete so he placed a call to B.R. DeWitt, whom he barely knew, and told him about his plans. 

He asked Mr. DeWitt if he could purchase the cement from his company, but he would not be able to pay him all at once. However, he could pay $100 per month until it was paid off. Henry asked if he could come speak with him and B.R. said he could come over that afternoon and bring his plans. 

After looking at the drawings, Mr. DeWitt agreed to the payment plan and Henry’s dream began to become a reality. Mr. Kisiel then went to Genesee Lumber and was able to arrange with them to supply the lumber, also on a payment plan. Within a year, Mr. Kisiel had paid off the money owed to Mr. DeWitt, Genesee Lumber and the bank. However, he still needed more money to finish the house. 

He ran into B.R. DeWitt at Angie’s Restaurant on Ellicott Street and B.R. asked him how the house was coming, Henry said he needed more cement for the driveway and could he get the same arrangement as before. Mr. DeWitt agreed as he had honored his previous commitment and supplied him with the cement. 

He also went back to Genesee Lumber for the framing and floors for another year’s worth of lumber. The bank loaned him another $2,500 to continue work on the home for the second year. 

In the third year, the windows needed to be installed and Mr. Kisiel went to Mr. Atwater at the bank for another $2,500 loan to order the windows. Mr. Atwater wanted to come out with other bank officers to see the project before loaning the money. Upon seeing the home, Mr. Atwater said forget about the $2,500, we will loan you $15,000 to continue the building and another $4,000 to finish. 

The house was completed in 1956 with a total mortgage of $19,000. Within a few short years, both Henry and Lois worked full time to pay off the mortgage completely. Henry worked at Kisiel Die Casting Manufacturing Company and Lois worked for New York Telephone. 

With their third child on the way in 1959, they had finished their home and had paid off their mortgage to the bank with no outstanding debt. In the end, the final cost of the home was $45,000.

The home is of red Roman rock-face brick from Louisiana. There are 13,000 bricks in the house which cost of 13 cents per brick at the time they were purchased. Stanley and John Stalytza, of Alden, were the bricklayers and they charged Mr. Kisiel 10 cents a brick for their labor. 

The plaster interior is over an inch thick and was done by the Hales in Batavia. 

The winter had come and Henry had to get the bricks laid so he built a covering for the house so the bricklayers could work throughout the winter. In the spring, he took down the covering and to the amazement of his friends and neighbors, the house was more beautiful than they had imagined. 

Henry wanted round windows and in the front door and on the exterior he implemented those designs. The deep eaves overhang the perimeter of the house. The eaves in the back of the house are even deeper than the front to shade the walkway that leads to the open breezeway.  The wooden-shingled garage is in the special pinkish-red paint that so perfectly complements the brick. The original wooden garage door with its rectangular windows retains the character of Mid-century Modern.

The living room ceiling gently curves in a soffit of plaster to hide the tops of the curtain rods, as if the drapes are falling from the air. Pink marble windowsills are throughout the house and instead of wood, bull-nose plaster frames every window and doorway and the edges of all the walls.  The original Formica countertops in the kitchen and wooden cupboards have been preserved over the years. The only wood is the baseboard, closet and entry doors, kitchen cupboards, and bathroom vanity. The Mid-century Modern gem is mostly of smooth sound plaster and solid brick exterior. Two fireplaces of the same red brick go from floor to ceiling in the living room and basement.

The Landmark Society of Genesee County recognizes we have passed the 50-year mark for houses to be considered landmarks, which qualifies many of the mid-century ranch, rambler, and split-level homes that were built after World War II into the 1960s. 

Fortunately, Genesee County has many that fall into this category and the hope is that people will begin to realize the wonderful architecture that transpired during this period and continue to care for and preserve this architectural style in our communities for generations to come.

Therefore, we would like to honor Henry Kisiel for his original design and building of his home on Creek Road and his preservation of it throughout the years. However, more importantly, for his longevity and personification of the pursuit of the American Dream and being of The Greatest Generation who came back from war to build a wonderful architectural style that accommodated the next generation --  a style their children known as the Baby Boomers were born and raised in.

May 7, 2013 - 3:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Landmark Society of Genesee County, preservation.

Article by Loren Pflaumer. Photos by Howard Owens.

Landmark Society Preservation Award
John and Cleo Mullins
4928 Watson Road, Elba, NY
Renovation

This Greek Revival style home is built on a portion of land originally acquired in 1798 by five Dutch immigrants and was part of the original Holland Land Purchase. 

The carriage barn is the oldest structure on the property and is dated around 1850. In a print showing the property when owned by Orlando Hoyt, you can see the home and the carriage barn.

The back barn burned in a fire and was replaced in 1919 with the barn that stands today. The deed for this property lists 14 previous owners, but none have owned it as long as the Mullins, who will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in the house next year.

In the fall of 1964, John and Cleo Mullins had successfully relocated from Nebraska to Western NY. John was working for Acomb Appaloosas in Stafford and Cleo had accepted a job as a medical technologist at the Batavia VA Hospital. They were ready to find a property with plenty of land and barns for their horses, as John was planning on stabling and training horses as well as giving lessons. 

The property at 4928 Watson Road gave them what they were looking for with three barns, an outbuilding and 80 acres of property, but the house was another matter. 

Built around 1850, there was only cold running water, no indoor bathroom and one heat register for the entire house. The Mullins had no choice but to tough out the first few months, as winter was fast approaching and plumbing or heating reconstruction during the winter wasn’t practical.

Within the first five years, the Mullins had blown-in insulation added throughout the house, which was the only option in order to retain the plaster and lathe walls. Notable renovations that followed were the addition of an indoor bathroom, a new multi-fuel heating system and duct work, new roof and custom windows.

Cleo and John have made extensive efforts to retain the original details of their home.

Dog-eared doorway and baseboard molding was restored or duplicated exactly. Where there was no baseboard or crown molding, they had it created. The floors are original and years-old burn marks were ripped out and new wood feathered in. 

When the Hotel Richmond in Batavia was torn down in the late 1960s, John rescued some large pieces of marble from the shoeshine counter which were repurposed into a utility room counter top and a bathroom sink top. 

The kitchen remodel is the most recent renovation. The new kitchen is double the size of the old one, and features beautiful views of the back of their property.

Years of reconstruction have uncovered many old trinkets and antiques which can be seen throughout the house, such as a small collection of pistols and an antique vacuum cleaner.

Changes to the outside of their home have been no less dramatic. Although we are not sure of the home’s original color scheme, it was painted red and white when they bought it. 

Louis Cecere was invited to consult on renovation ideas and any historic significance. He suggested that the red color scheme made the house look too much like one of the many barns on the property. Louis suggested something muted and neutral to make it stand out. Cleo was not in favor of this idea. After much convincing, briarwood tan and antique white were chosen, and the end result did exactly what was intended and the house now stands out proudly. The Mullins also replaced the front door, adding dual sidelight panels and installed new custom windows.

The house that was an initial afterthought has turned into a source of pride and joy for the Mullins. They credit a few key individuals for the overall success of the job, and thank: Louis Cecere for his input on historical accuracy and color suggestions; Erik Roth of N.J. Philipps Builders for his carpentry work, especially his plans and designs for the kitchen and replication of the original moldings; and Gary Deiboldt for his time spent recreating a section of the 16” floor baseboards in the main room. 

A final thank you goes to Catherine Roth for instilling in the Mullins a love and appreciation of historic homes. It was her passion that fueled their decision to restore rather than remodel. 

Cleo and John have been faithful stewards of this historic property and their passion is evident when they talk about their memories and future plans. It is with great pride and appreciation that The Landmark Society of Western New York awards John and Cleo Mullins the Tender Loving Care Award.

April 22, 2013 - 7:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County.

Press release:

Attention parents, guardians, fourth-grade teachers and art instructors, the Landmark Society of Genesee County is calling for entries to the 23d Annual Architectural Drawing Contest for fourth-graders.

All Genesee County schools and homeschoolers are invited to participate. Please also note that the contest has expanded to include artistic photography and mixed media of historic sites and/or architectural details such as friezes, columns, etc.

Please be creative! Do not feel you have to copy from the "Architectural Heritage of Genesee County" book. Judges are especially looking for unique pieces -- photographs, images manipulated on the computer, etc.

Please send all entries by Thursday, May 2nd to the Richmond Memorial Library circulation desk or to Elba Central School.

The entries will be hung as soon as they are received on Thursday, May 2nd. This year's contest and awards ceremony will be held at the Richmond library beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 9th.

May 21, 2012 - 4:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, elba, Landmark Society of Genesee County.

We're a bit tardy in publishing this, but last week the Landmark Society of Genesee County gave out its annual awards in drawing contest, which is open to fourth-graders from throughout the county.

The first-place winner was Esmeralda O'Campo, center, from Elba Central School for her relief artwork of 4899 Ford Road, Elba. She receive $50, a framed certificate and a copy of the book "The Architectural Heritage of Genesee County."

The second-place winner was Isabella Riner, left, from Elba Central School for her mixed media artwork of 39 S. Main St., Elba.

The third-place winner was Gabrielle Root from St. Joseph School for her mixed media artwork of the E.N. Rowell House in Batavia.

Second- and third-place winners received $25, a framed certificate, and a copy of "The Architectural Heritage of Genesee County."

Honorable mentions were Trinity Aponte, Lauryn Engle, Morgan Harrington, Trevor Matthison, Adryona Miller, and Harmony Parker.

The guest judges this year were Sharon and Don Burkel, of Batavia. Sharon Burkel is an architectural historian and currently serves on the City of Batavia Historic Preservation Commission. Don Burkel is the Executive Director of the Batavia Business Improvement District (BID). Both are members of the Landmark Society. 

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