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Award of Merit, Jefferson Wollensak Apartments

Dec 1, 2022

Wollensak Building on Hudson Avenue

Built in 1918 from plans by renowned Rochester architect J. Foster Warner, the Wollensak Optical Company building is an outstanding example of early 20th century industrial design. The building's distinctive design features brick and terra cotta construction, highlighted by an elegant cast-iron-and-beveled glass canopy over the main entrance.

Vacant for more than 15 years, the building significantly deteriorated due to deferred maintenance. The Landmark Society named the property to its 2015 Five to Revive list. In 2020, the Urban League of Rochester Economic Development Corporation converted the building into 22 affordable apartments as part of the $13.95 million Jefferson Wollensak project, which made use of State and Federal Historic Tax Credits, New York State LIHTC (Low Income Housing Tax Credits), and a variety of other funding sources.

The project team included Edgemere Development (developer), Hamilton Stern (contractor), SWBR (project architect), and Home Leasing (building management).

Now fully occupied, Wollensak Apartments have helped to provide neighborhood beautification, community revitalization, and sustainability by adapting an iconic landmark and returning it to a useful life.

Courtesy of The Landmark Society of Western New York