Historic Preservation Commission

Meeting Time:
3rd Monday of the month 4PM at Town Hall (except. Jan. and Feb. will meet 2nd Monday of the month)
In 1987, recognizing the value of our Town’s historic resources, the Town Board of the Town of Rochester formed the Historic Preservation Comuseum.jpgmmission for the purpose of establishing a working list of the town’s historic features with the goal of preserving them.  These historic elements, which have been identified, surveyed and documented during the past several years, include stone and brick houses, frame and stucco houses, barns and other support farm structures, schoolhouses, churches, commercials buildings, bridges and cemeteries (over 70!)
Historic Preservation is an important part of the overall plan that guides our community’s improvement and change; it should not be viewed as an impediment to progress.  On the contrary, in identifying the historic resources of the Town, the aim is to protect and enhance the value of said properties, to the benefit of current and future residents.
Effort is now being made to alert property owners, potential buyers, and the public in general to the importance and intrinsic value of the historic properties.  As part of this effort, Friends of Historic Rochester has established The Museum at 12 Main Street in Accord, and sponsors tours of historic places within the Town.
Commission Members
Term Expires
Alice Cross
Ward Mintz
Vice Chairperson
William Collier
Frank Dannecker
Howard Kagan
Walter Levy
Alice Schoonmaker
Elaine LaFlamme
Carl Chipman
Town Board Liaison

HPC Reports

Learn about listing your property on the National Register here.
Learn about tax credits available to Rochester residents whose property is listed on the National Register here.
Learn about tax credits for commercial properties here.

Blue Stone Press, November 19, 2010 (p. 8)
Veterans Day park dedication
by Sherry Chachkin
BSP Reporter
“Keep Forever Living The Freedom They Defended” read the inscription on the 3′ x 3′ granite stone as two veterans, Ross Simmons, past president of VFW Post 8959, and Merchant Marine Captain Charles Stocking, raised the United States Flag high atop the flagpole next to the stone.
The sound of patriotic songs floated through the crisp, sun-warmed air, as the Town of Rochester dedicated its Veterans Park on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. A wreath dominated by red and white roses, donated by Christian’s Greenhouse in Kerhonkson, also graced the scene, along with an impressive mountain view. The two men saluted the flag, as a crowd of more than 50 applauded.
It has been almost six months since the park’s groundbreaking ceremony on Memorial Day, and seven years since the idea of the park was conceived, the “dream” and “inspiration,” said Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman, of former town board member Francis Gray, who died earlier this year. Gray’s widow, Alice, attended, and accepted Chipman’s thanks for her husband’s “tireless work” on behalf of the park.
Eight more stones ring the park site, designed by Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) member Jon Dogar Marinesco. Seven stones bear bronze plaques commemorating the town’s participation in defense of the country from the Revolutionary War to the Persian Gulf War/Iraq/Afganistan. A painted white dove on the eighth stone, Dogar Marinesco told the BSP, symbolizes not only peace, but also the hope that the eighth stone will not be needed to commemorate some future conflict. HPC Chair Alice Cross told those assembled that the park would have blue-stone benches, plantings, and “signage to show the way here” by Memorial Day 2011.
After Ed Lamon, VFW Quartermaster, delivered the Invocation, Chipman, acknowledging that “so many people have been involved in making this park a reality,” thanked, in addition to Gray, town Highway Superintendent Wayne Kelder, his deputy and foreman Jeff Fry, “and the boys” for their “beautiful job” preparing the site, located across the service road from the southern end of the Town Park. Chipman also recognized the HPC, town board member Manuela Mihailescu, board liaison to the HPC, Dogar Marinesco for his design, and noted the presence of Rondout Valley Central School District Superintendent, and town resident, Rosario Agostaro, who, Chipman said, “is here as a citizen. He’s one of ours now.”
Chipman concluded his remarks by saying that the park is “about all that our citizens have done since the Revolutionary War; it’s about all of you. God bless you for what you’ve done.” Town board member Tavi Cilenti reminded those gathered that, “Freedom is not free.” He gave a brief history of the origins of Veterans Day. Cilenti, a Vietnam War vet, said, that although we especially honor those who “gave everything,” dying in the service of their country, “everybody who’s a vet gave a piece of their life in service to the country. … this is all about thanking all vets.”
In her remarks, Cross, who said “Many thought [the park] would never happen, but thanks to the town board it did,” also thanked HPC, vice chair Jeanne Greene, and members Ruth Bendelius, Alice Schoonmaker, Barbara Zaccai, Diana Cilenti, and William Collier, who obtained the memorial stones, as well as Mihailescu, the Highway Department, Terry Ringler, who donated surveying services, and Thomas Hall-Davis, a stone mason who donated a portion of his work setting the stones in place. Cross also noted the presence of County legislator Terry Bernardo, and told Alice Gray “we’re thrilled you’re here.


invitation to a program
Event sponsored by Historic Preservation Commission, Town of Rochester.
Presentation by Carleton Mabee, widely published author and Pulitzer Prize winner.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Town Hall, Granite Rd., Accord, NY
Father Divine was a controversial social prophet who established communities in the NYC area and upstate beginning in the 1930s, including the Town of Rochester, High Falls, Saugerties, Kingston, and Milton. Carleton Mabee will describe these communities, and will include details about the early life of Father Divine as well as his personal philosophy and early influences.
Carleton Mabee himself has had direct personal contact with Divine and his movement, first in NYC in the 1930s, and recently at Divine movement locations on Long Island and in the Philadelphia area.
In attendance at the program will be several local residents who recall contacts with the Father Divine communities when they were children.
The newly published book on Father Divine by Carleton Mabee will be available at this event.  Refreshments will be served.

Additional Information: